Neil Ferguson, the lead modeler and chief spokesman for Imperial College London, who had predicted up to 2.2 million COVID-19 deaths in the United States, which justified the coronavirus lockdowns we saw early on in the pandemic has come out and discussed the influence of China’s lockdown policies.
In an interview with The Sunday Times, Ferguson said, “I think people’s sense of what is possible in terms of control changed quite dramatically between January and March.”
When China locked entire communities down and not permitting them to leave their homes, they initially presumed it would not be an available option in a liberal Western democracy
“It’s a communist one party state, we said. We couldn’t get away with it in Europe, we thought… and then Italy did it. And we realized we could”, Ferguson said.
This is not the only time China’s influence with lockdowns has been mentioned. In March, China’s top epidemiologist, Dr Zhong Nanshan discussed the lessons China could offer to countries.
Zhong said there were two strategies to cope with the COVID-19 outbreak – suppression and mitigation.
When asked about any suggestions he would make to the US leading epidemiologist Dr Anthony Fauci, Zhong believes that Fauci will agree with his view. “The best way to do this is ‘isolation,'” he said.
The World Health Organization was also enamored with China’s efforts: Deeply touched by the absolute drive of every person she met in China amid the epidemic, Maria van Kerkhove, technical lead for the WHO’s Health Emergencies Program, told a daily briefing that everyone in China knows their role in the COVID-19 outbreak, adding they know how to protect themselves and their families, as well as what they need to do collectively to bring the epidemic under control.