China’s Reactions to COVID-19 Outbreaks in Wuhan before Lockdown: The Impact of Three Weeks Delay.

53 Pages Posted: 7 Jul 2020

See all articles by Mai He

Mai He

Washington University in St. Louis School of Medicine

Li Li

AT&T

Louis P. Dehner

Washington University in St. Louis School of Medicine

Date Written: June 26, 2020

Abstract

Background: Wuhan, China was the original epicenter of COVID-19 pandemic. The goal of the current study is to understand the infection transmission dynamics before intervention measures were taken, such as issuing a lockdown for the city and other social distancing policies.

Methods: Data and key events were searched through pubmed for medical literature and internet for Chinese government announcements and Chinese media reports. Epidemiological data including R0 and infection were calculated using data extracted from variety of data sources.

Results: We established a timeline emphasizing evidence of human-to-human transmission. By January 1, 2020, Chinese authorities had been presented convincing evidence of human-to-human transmission; however, it was until January 20, 2020 that this information was shared with the public. Our study estimated that there would have been 10,989 total infected cases if interventions were taken on January 2, 2020, vs 239,875 cases when lockdown was put in place on January 23, 2020.

Conclusions: China’s withholding of key information about the 2020 COVID-19 pandemic and its delayed response ultimately led to the largest public health crisis of this century and could have been avoided with earlier countermeasures.

Note: Funding: None to declare

Declaration of Interest: None to declare

Keywords: COVID-19, Wuhan, China, Delay, Impact, SEIR model, R0

JEL Classification: I

Suggested Citation

He, Mai and Li, Li and Dehner, Louis P., China’s Reactions to COVID-19 Outbreaks in Wuhan before Lockdown: The Impact of Three Weeks Delay. (June 26, 2020). Available at SSRN: https://ssrn.com/abstract=3635874 or http://dx.doi.org/10.2139/ssrn.3635874

Mai He (Contact Author)

Washington University in St. Louis School of Medicine ( email )

St. Louis, MO 63110
United States

Li Li

AT&T

Bedminster, NJ 07921
United States

Louis P. Dehner

Washington University in St. Louis School of Medicine ( email )

St. Louis, MO 63110
United States

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