Readers’ views on Britain’s approach to the spread of coronavirus, and whether the current official advice is practical and proportionate
Despite a clearly slow start in reacting to the coronavirus, the dynamic capabilities of the Chinese state have enabled it to seemingly quell its rapid spread within China (New infections globally exceed those in China for first time, 27 February). While there are undoubtedly many unsavoury aspects to their authoritarian rule, the capacity for leaders to rapidly mobilise the full power of the state has led to an unprecedented response to such a crisis. From placing whole cities and provinces in complete lockdown, and quarantining entire neighbourhoods, to building hospitals in a matter of days, the response has been enviable.
More tellingly, China also has the means to significantly restrict – if not stop – the spread of misinformation concerning coronavirus through its vast surveillance and control of the internet. In such an existential emergency, doing so is useful in terms of reducing the fear, paranoia and uncertainty that an outbreak causes. It also helps avoid widespread panic, instability and hysteria that can be more detrimental and dangerous than the physical spread of the virus itself.
Link : Must Britain be more like China to halt coronavirus outbreak? | Letters