“During a whole semester, the Chinese were afraid, they avoided going out and gathering even when it was authorized”

Frédéric Lemaître: First, we cannot say that there is no declared case. As recently as today, the city of Tianjin (15 million inhabitants), 130 kilometers from Beijing, revealed the existence of four new cases. But you are right, compared to the population of the country, the number of new cases has for several months remained marginal.

How to explain it? With hindsight, we realize that at the beginning of the year the epidemic remained a phenomenon of regional scope. It affected Hubei province, but, due to containment, not really the rest of the country. China was then able to deploy considerable resources, sending more than 40,000 people to Wuhan to help local medical teams.

Since then, China has been a country almost closed to the rest of the world. The number of international flights planned between October 2020 and March 2021 is 96% lower than in the same period a year earlier. And anyone entering China is tested and quarantined in a hotel. Above all, as soon as a case appears, the country carries out massive tests (11 million in Beijing in June, or about half of the population), isolates the sick and tracks all contact cases, identified mainly through telephones. portable.

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