The Wuhan-exposure: Had China acted earlier, the world would be today a different

By a shutdown of public life, and border closures will try Germany and other European countries, the rapid spread of the Corona Virus in check. Two studies, Wuhan show how important the time factor is to slow the propagation rate and to stop Corona.

The Corona Virus is spreading rapidly all over the world. In Italy, the number of Infected has risen to nearly 28,000, in Spain, to over 9000, and in France to about 5000. In Germany, according to the Robert Koch Institute, currently more than 7600 cases.

All around, A impose to the countries of entry and exit barrier. In Italy, Spain and since today also in France, output imposed barriers: This means citizens are allowed to visit only in urgent necessary cases, such as to doctor and shopping, leave your apartment.

In Germany, too, is driven in coordination with the individual Federal States the public life all the way down: All schools and nurseries are closed. Bars, Clubs, discos, pubs, theatres, operas, concert houses, museums, fairs, exhibitions, cinemas, leisure and animal parks, as well as a provider of leisure activities (indoors and outdoors) to stop the operation.

This also applies to sports facilities, fitness studios, swimming and fun pools as well as playgrounds and shops. Just shops for everyday basic care to remain open. Bavaria even has to call in the event of a disaster – and a curfew is also in the area of the Possible.  

Only the avoidance of social contacts breaks the chain of infection

Since there is still no vaccine against the Virus, the avoidance of social contacts is currently the only Chance in the fight against the Corona of propagation. How important, therefore, the method of contact reduction, the spread of chain to interrupt the show, two new studies from England, which were published in the Lancet and MedRxiv.

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Both studies indicate that China had underestimated the extent of the infections. So it should, according to the mathematician Adam Kucharski of the London School of Hygiene & Tropical Medicine, at the end of January, ten Times more diseases have given confirmed as official. Other experts speak of up to 40 Times more diseases.

In any case, the number of Infected week increased in length. At the end of January, the number of persons, the infects a single Infected was still at 2.35 – only in February, she went back to 1.05.

China has exceeded Corona-peak

The decline is. according to the study, interestingly, even before the shut-off of Wuhan on 23 January have taken place – the infection numbers in the Hubei province were at this time officially at about 2500. Kucharski speculates that this might have less to do with the travel restrictions as with quarantine and the cautious behaviour of the population.

In fact, it now seems as if China would have exceeded the height of the Corona propagation. According to official data, the number of new infections is at a low level. The Beijing health Commission announced on Monday that there is country-wide, only 16 new cases. It was in twelve cases, people diagnosed after their entry into China, and therefore in the official statistics as "imported Fälle" to be led.

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An Infected person is not sufficient to deal with an outbreak trigger

The results of the study by the mathematician Kucharski also show that the frequent assumption that an Infected person to an outbreak to trigger votes. The probability increases to 50 percent if four infected persons to enter a Region.

However, the scientists also suspect that the risk of Infection from Person varies Person – even if so-called Super-spreaders, people who have not been found, for example, by their profession, especially many of the infect others, as it was during the SARS outbreak in 2002/03, yet.  

Swifter action would have led to lower infection numbers

The second study from Southampton around the geography and environmental researchers, Shengjie Lai came to the conclusion that the Chinese government must act more quickly. Had been taken to lock in Wuhan, faster measures such as Contact, would have infected a lot less people:

  • a week earlier would have led to 66 per cent fewer infections
  • two weeks to 86 percent fewer infections
  • three weeks to 95 percent fewer infections

A subsequent seizure of the measures would have accelerated a spread even more:

  • a week later, up to 3 times
  • two weeks later, the 7-fold
  • three weeks later, the 18-times  

Only quick Action slows down the spread

This shows that a fast Action and the fast implementation can slow measures the spread of the Virus. According to the study, early and integrated strategies should be prepared in order to minimize the health, social and economic impacts in the countries concerned.

Even if the number of cases according to studies in China is significantly higher than is officially known, China has sealed off already at around 2500 Infected, Wuhan and other cities in the province of Hubei. In comparison, Germany has begun with the restrictions on travel and public life, first as case numbers over 5000 were – so, in principle, already much too late.

With Material from dpa

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