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China’s top coronavirus expert urges Western countries to adopt ‘REAL LOCKDOWNS’ to stop the pandemic
- Dr Zhong said the restrictions in ‘some foreign countries’ were not lockdowns
- He urged Western leaders to imposed ‘community-based’ restraints like China
- He stressed the importance of social distancing in stopping the transmission
- Comes after people in the UK flocked to parks to enjoy the sun amid the crisis
China’s top infectious disease expert Zhong Nanshan has urged Western countries to impose ‘real lockdowns’ to curb the coronavirus pandemic.
Dr Zhong, who has been leading China’s efforts to fight the disease, was speaking to state media as he expressed his disapproval of the confinement measures adopted by Europe and the United States.
The 83-year-old epidemiologist said: ‘As I heard from some of the foreign countries that [officials have] locked down the city, but inside the city people, in particular young people, still join together attending parties or some banquets or meetings.
‘It doesn’t work. It’s not a lockdown.’
Beijing’s chief medical advisor on coronavirus Dr Zhong Nanshan (pictured on February 27) has urged the West to impose stricter lockdown measures to stop the spread of coronavirus
The coronavirus has killed more than 69,000 people and infected over 1.2 million worldwide
China’s decision to lock down Wuhan, where the pandemic first emerged, may have prevented 700,000 new cases of coronavirus, experts have said, although sceptics have voiced doubts about the accuracy of Chinese figures.
Dr Zhong, the leader of a team of Chinese experts dealing with the crisis, urged Europe and the United States to adopt stricter movement restrictions and to seal off ‘communities’, not just the entire city.
He also stressed the importance of social distancing in stopping the spread of the coronavirus.
‘Nobody can block, can stop the spreading or stop the infection of this kind of disease. But we can try to do our best to inhibit the spreading. So, that’s what we are successful,’ he added.
He made the comments on Friday on CGTN, the English arm of the country’s state broadcaster CCTV.
Dr Zhong’s warnings come after lockdown rebels in the UK flouted the government’s plea to remain indoors and flocked to parks to take advantage of the sunny weather. Members of the public are pictured enjoying the day’s warm weather on Primrose Hill on April 5 in London
The epicentre of the pandemic has shifted to Europe as cases in Italy, Spain and the UK soar
Dr Zhong’s warnings come after lockdown rebels in the UK flouted the government’s plea to remain indoors and flocked to parks over the weekend to take advantage of the sunny weather.
Meanwhile, Scotland’s chief medical officer Dr Catherine Calderwood was given a police warning on Sunday for ignoring her own advice to the public and twice-visiting her family’s coastal retreat in Earlsferry, Fife, more than 40 miles from her main home.
Dr Calderwood announced late last night that she had resigned ‘with a heavy heart’ after making a grovelling apology live on TV.
Wuhan, the Chinese city where the pandemic first emerged, has been under draconian lockdown for more than two months. The picture, taken on January 27, shows an empty highway in Wuhan after quarantine measures were imposed on the city on January 23
In other developments, Sweden’s Prime Minister has told his country to prepare for thousands of deaths as the country faces a backlash over its light-touch response to the coronavirus crisis.
Rather than ordering a lockdown, Sweden has told its citizens to ‘each take responsibility’ for slowing the spread.
Swedish PM Stefan Löfven admitted that ‘we will have more seriously ill people who need intensive care’, but played down the distinctiveness of Sweden’s approach.
‘We will have more seriously ill people who need intensive care,’ said Swedish Prime Minister (pictured on March 31). ‘We are facing thousands of deaths. We need to prepare for that’
Swedes have been advised to practise social distancing, but schools, bars and restaurants remain open – to the amazement of neighbouring countries which are enforcing strict lockdowns.
Thousands of doctors and academics including the head of the Nobel Foundation have signed a petition urging tougher action, while one scientist accused Sweden of playing ‘Russian roulette with the Swedish population’.
The scepticism of Sweden comes amid promising signs that the lockdowns are working for its European neighbours such as Spain, Italy and Germany.
Germany’s 3,677 new cases yesterday marked the smallest jump in daily infections since March 22, while growth in new cases in Spain and Italy has fallen to its lowest since the crisis began.
The novel coronavirus has killed more than 69,000 people and infected over 1.2 million worldwide.
What were China’s lockdown measures?
China’s Hubei Province, the epicentre of the novel coronavirus outbreak, enforced strict lockdown measures on nearly 60 million people during the outbreak. Pictured, a man has his temperature checked at the Hankou railway station in Wuhan on April 4
The coronavirus pandemic first emerged in Wuhan in the Hubei province of China at the end of 2019.
Chinese officials enforced strict lockdown measures on nearly 60 million people in Wuhan and the surrounding Hubei Province at the end of January to prevent the spread of the bug.
At the height of the outbreak, the local government only allowed one person of each household to go out once every three days to buy life necessities.
All residential compounds must arrange security staff to check the temperature of passersby 24 hours.
Many residential complexes or villages were sealed off with barricades.
Suspected patients were forced to isolate in their homes by officials who nailed wooden bars on their doors.
Some communities even ordered married couples to sleep in different beds to stem the spread.
People who were caught strolling on the street were sent to the so-called ‘coronavirus re-education camps’ as one of the punishments.
Wuhan, the former centre of the outbreak, is the only city in China that is still on lockdown. Officials are due to lift the travel restrictions on April 8.
Citizens in the country are still required to wear face masks and use an official mobile app to prove they don’t have coronavirus when they go out.
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