Findings, music, and occasional reflections by Paul Woodward

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Understanding what works: How some countries are beating back the coronavirus

Stat reports:

With Europe and the United States locked in deadly battle with the coronavirus that causes Covid-19, a number of countries that were hit early by the virus are doing a far better job of beating it back.

China, which is now diagnosing more cases in returning travelers than in people infected at home, reported no new domestically acquired cases on Wednesday, for the first time in more than two months. South Korea, which had an explosive outbreak that began in February, is aggressively battering down its epidemic curve. Singapore, Hong Kong, and Taiwan have together reported only about 600 cases.

Those successes have been bought by a layering of what are known as non-pharmaceutical initiatives — including social distancing and travel restrictions — aimed at severing chains of transmission to keep the virus from going into an exponential growth cycle.

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None of the other countries has been as aggressive as China, which put tens of millions of people into forced quarantine for weeks. And these other locales have not all adopted an across-the-board checklist of measures. While kids in Hong Kong haven’t been in school since late January, class continues in Singapore.

Here’s a look at some of the techniques these governments employed, and how they stack up to steps being taken in the United States as well as the United Kingdom, which has come under heavy scrutiny for its approach, fairly or not. [Continue reading…]

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