SI hears China’s response on COVID-19

SOLOMON Islands joined other Pacific Islands countries to get feedbacks on the coronavirus (COVID-19) and the measures China took to deal with the virus since its outbreak in December 27, 2019.

The Ministry of Foreign Affairs in China organised a video conference on Tuesday 5pm (2pm Beijing) to allow its 10 diplomatic allies in the Pacific to watch the live presentation of:

  1. Dr Wu Zunyou, Chief Epidemiologist of the Chinese Center for Disease Control and Prevention and
  2. Dr Wang Guiqiang, Chief Physician, Department of infectious diseases, Peking University First Hospital.

Solomon Islands watched at the video conference at China Civil Engineering Construction Corporation (CCECC) compound at Lunga.

The other allies that watched the video in their offices were Papua New Guinea, Fiji, Samoa, Vanuatu, Tonga, Federate States of Micronesia, Nauru, Niue and Kiribati.

After the presentation, PNG was given the opportunity to make a statement on the virus before the rest of the Pacific Islands Countries have asked questions on the presenters.

Dr Wu said about 69 percent (5938) have related exposure to the virus in Wuhan, 15 percent (1316) contact with confirmed cases and 16 percent (1402) no known exposure history.

These statistics are based on the 8656 confirmed cases.

He said China has applied community level responses strategy to counter the virus.

They divided the communities into three categories namely community with no confirmed cases, communities with confirmed cases and communities with spreading of the epidemic.

Dr Wu said 1.4 billion people nationwide underwent 10 days of at home isolation.

He said in Hubei province where Wuhan is, 59.2 million people were subjected to cordon sanitaire or prevented from leaving the area.

Dr Wu said 50,000 hospital beds were opened for COVID-19 patients (including 3 new hospitals plus 16 temporary module hospitals).

He said 40,000 health workers were deployed to Hubei.
“Majority of cases arise from close contacts of symptomatic cases; 1.5 percent of 38000 close contacts developed COVID-19 in 3 areas.

“Transmission is driven by family clusters (i.e. 75-85 percent of clusters),” he said.

Dr Wu said two percent households attack rate were 10 percent early in the outbreak and fell to three percent in with faster isolation.

He said transmission in close settings is happening but is not a major driver in China (e.g. health facilities, nursing homes and prisons).

“Transmission in schools has been observed- this may simply be because of the closure of schools during most of the outbreaks,” he said.

Solomon Islands was represented by Ministry of Health and Medical Services officials, Ministry of Foreign Affairs and External Trade, Secretary to Prime Minister Dr Jimmy Rodgers and media.

Undersecretary for Public Health Dr Nemia Bainivalu said the video conference was very informative.

“I will certainly share this response with my team on some of the things to apply in Solomon Islands case for preparation,” he said.

Like other Pacific Islands countries, Solomon Islands has also come up with preventative measures to deal with the coronavirus.

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