The number of new cases reported in a day dropped from thousands to just double digits. <small> Cover image via IBTimes Xinhua </small>
The coronavirus disease (COVID-19) is affecting 157 countries and territories around the world.
Out of the 80,881 confirmed cases in China as of today, 17 March, only 21 are new cases.
Meanwhile, other countries such as US, Italy, and even Malaysia are now reporting over 100 new cases daily.</p>
Since the outbreak started in January, China has taken several measures to rapidly reduce the number of new cases.
Here’s what they did:
1. Enforced a lockdown
According to The Guardian, Wuhan and 15 other neighbouring cities began their virtual lockdown on Thursday, 23 January.
Trains and flights were cancelled, public transport was suspended, and most private cars were banned from the roads.
A total of 60 million people were largely confined to their cities for several weeks, reported South China Morning Post.
<p>However, many others have criticised the lockdown, calling it 'draconian'. According to TIME, the initiative cripples citizens' livelihoods and wouldn't be as effective if implemented anywhere else.</p> <p>
2. Built emergency hospitals
Within just eight days, China completed work on an emergency 1,000-bed hospital.
The 25,000sqm Huoshenshan Hospital began admitting patients on 3 February, reported Chinese state media Xinhua.
Only a few days after that, another emergency hospital was opened about 40km away. Leishenshan Hospital covered 75,000sqm with a capacity of 1,600 beds.</p> <p>The Guardian reported that in total, there were a dozen makeshift hospitals in Wuhan but the last emergency hospital was closed on Tuesday, 10 March, after a massive improvement in the number of people infected in the region.</p> <p>
3. Disinfected public spaces regularly
According to Business Insider, disinfecting highly-touched surfaces is one of the most effective ways to curb the spread of coronavirus.</p> <p>Trucks carrying low-concentration bleach-and-water solutions drove through China's major cities, cleaning the streets and sanitation workers were sent to spray down all public areas.<br></br></p> <p>
4. Made wearing face masks compulsory
South China Morning Post reported that Beijing and Shanghai unveiled a compulsory mask-wearing policy on 10 February.<br></br></p> <p>Some citizens were even called out in public when authorities found them without a face mask.
Watch the video here:
<blockquote><p dir="ltr" lang="en">Walking around without a protective face mask? Well, you can't avoid these sharp-tongued drones! Many village and cities in China are using drones equipped with speakers to patrol during the #coronavirus outbreak. pic.twitter.com/ILbLmlkL9R</p>— Global Times (@globaltimesnews) January 31, 2020</blockquote>
5. Practised social distancing
Authorities in China even cancelled major Lunar New Year celebrations, reported CNN. Temples were closed, Shanghai Disneyland ceased operations, and the release of several blockbuster movies were postponed, all in the name of social distancing.</p>
Malaysia will be implementing a nationwide restricted movement order that will be effective from 18 March:
The best way to keep safe from COVID-19 is to practise basic hygiene such as wearing a face mask and washing your hands properly:
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