China’s Reactions to COVID-19 Outbreaks in Wuhan before Lockdown: The Impact of Three Weeks Delay.
53 Pages Posted: 7 Jul 2020
Date Written: June 26, 2020
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: Suggested Citation