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February 7, 2020

Good Hygiene Practice Has Shown its Power on Coronavirus Prevention



While more import and domestic cases were reported in different countries around the world, public health experts got the chance to learn more about the coronavirus that causes an outbreak of pneumonia-like disease, and predict the epidemic.



So far, the majority of infected people outside China have very mild symptoms. What they are experiencing is an illness similar to flu. That means the virus can do human to human transmission, but it does not always cause severe illness and lead to death everywhere.



Germany’s first four domestic cases gave the world the best example. Bavaria health officials said on January 28 that the first case had contracted the disease from a Chinese colleague who had visited the area for a company workshop a week ago. Another three patients were "connected" to the first case. Four cases work together in the company and their illness was very mild.



The most dangerous place is Wuhan city in China, where the virus originated. That is why Japan’s charter flight has evacuated its citizens who work or live in Wuhan. Many other China’s cities and villages are affected as well because people were moving around for their lunar new year plan before some places got locked down by Chinese government for outbreak control purposes. That is why Palau only blocks flights from China and does not block other countries.



The reason why China’s epidemic looks much more serious than the rest of the world, for example, the virus led to more death in China, might be related to certain personal hygiene issues, poor performance of outbreak response system and insufficient medical support in many rural areas. However, Chinese government has been making a lot of efforts to control the epidemic, including the lockdown of the seriously affected areas, suspension of outbound tour group and so on, so we believes it is very likely that China would see a trend of calming down in one or two weeks.



Regarding China's epidemic control measures, we want to remind Chinese government to take good care of people's medical needs and human rights especially in the lockdown areas. We also think it is the best time that Chinese government encourages its citizens to practice better personal hygiene from now on to enhance disease prevention and public health in the country.



It is worth to notice that Taiwan has not reported any domestic case for a week since the government confirmed the second one on January 30, although there are still import cases reported. We believe it means that Taiwan people's good personal hygiene practice in the past several weeks, for example, wearing a mask and washing hands more often, has shown its power of blocking the transmission of the virus in the community. We suggest that other governments, for example, Hong Kong. Macau, Japan, Thailand and Singapore, should promote good personal hygiene harder to avoid the coronavirus spread among its citizens and visitors.

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