The head of the World Health Organization (WHO) believes China's battle with the coronavirus offers a beacon of hope, but others question whether Beijing's strategy can be followed by other countries – particularly Western democracies.
China has reported only one new local infection over the past four days, a seemingly remarkable turnaround given the chaos that surrounded the initial outbreak in the city of Wuhan.
While some experts caution against accepting Beijing's figures at face value, WHO chief Tedros Adhanom Ghebreyesus insisted Saturday that China's success "provides hope for the rest of the world."
The Chinese city of Wuhan – where the global pandemic was first detected and the first city to be locked down – went a fourth consecutive day on Sunday without reporting any new or suspected cases of the virus. Wuhan must go 14 straight days without a new case for draconian travel restrictions to be lifted, but already, a special train returned more than 1,000 car factory employees for the first time since the outbreak. Parks and other public gathering places are reopening in China as people return to work and businesses resume. However, the country has placed increasing restrictions on those coming from overseas, who have made up the majority of its new cases in recent days. All arrivals to Beijing from abroad must be quarantine themselves for two weeks in a hotel at their own expense. And beginning Monday, flights into the capital will be diverted to one of twelve airports in other cities, where passengers will have to pass a health inspection before they can fly onward to Beijing.
But China is a particular case – a centrally controlled, top-down, one-party authoritarian state that allows no dissent and can mobilize vast resources on a single issue.
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