Countries Need Their Own Maps for “Uncharted Territory”

Calling the COVID-19 outbreak “uncharted territory,” WHO Director-General Tedros Adhanom Ghebreyesus emphasized at a Geneva briefing yesterday that countries can still take important steps to contain their outbreaks, BBC reports
 
“We can push this virus back,” Tedros says. But, he says, it’s not a one-size-fits-all job: "Each country must have its own approach but it must start with containment."

And China’s authoritarian approach—featuring mega-lockdowns and intrusive surveillance—might not work as well for other countries, Science notes.
 
WHO-China Joint Mission report released late last week points to China’s approach as the most “ambitious, agile, and aggressive disease containment effort in history,” and credits the moves with swiftly containing the virus.
 
But there are risks in the approach, too. “Whether it works is not the only measure of whether something is a good public health control measure … There are plenty of things that would work to stop an outbreak that we would consider abhorrent in a just and free society,” says Alexandra Phelan, a China specialist at Georgetown’s Center for Global Health Science and Security.

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