（大中报/096.ca特稿）：世界卫生组织领导人\最近刚刚对武汉进行了两周访问的布鲁斯•艾尔沃德医生(Dr. Bruce Aylward)对中国抗疫措施大加赞赏。从下令大举封城和广泛隔离到大面积电子监控，这些措施似乎使中国受感染人数迅速下降，也让这名世卫组织的加国传染病专家备受鼓舞，并口出“正因为中国的这些激进政策，成千上万的中国人免遭感染”， “它国应效仿中国的抗疫措施，但这需要速度，金钱，充分的想象力以及政治勇气”之言。
Dr. Bruce Aylward, the leader of the World Health Organization who recently returned from a two-week trip to Wuhan China, praised China's extreme measures in fighting coronavirus – from massive lockdown of cities to social isolation orders to intense surveillance tactics. With infected cases in China rapidly plunging, the inspired Canadian epidemiologist says that hundreds of thousands of people in China did not get this virus because of China's aggressive approach. "China's counterattack can be replicated," he said, "but it will require speed, money, imagination and political courage."
Any seemingly quick and effective measures to slow the spread of the virus can be appealing to an infectious disease expert mandated to control a looming global pandemic – regardless of how aggressive and overbearing they are. However, what Dr. Aylward didn't see and what China is mum about is the coercive nature of these measures and the toll they have exacted. Behind the glorified statistics lurk the tears, fears, and outrages of the individuals marginalized by the draconian approach.
Results from the shutdown of transportation, a 56-year-old patient had to walk 18 miles to a hospital while in the grip of fear. An infected mother with an infant baby could not get help from her only relative who lived out of town. A boy with cerebral palsy died in his home because his parents were under quarantine. A desperate patient couldn't get an ambulance to the hospital committed suicide. And millions of people left Wuhan earlier became outcasts of their own country.
China’s containment efforts devoted to the outbreak put a severe strain on the healthcare system that has left patients suffering critical illnesses other than coronavirus falling through cracks. According to China social media Weibo, a 19-year-old who suffered from a rare and aggressive form of muscle cancer died at the peak of corona virus outbreak. His condition took a drastic turn for the worse, after resource-deprived hospitals rejected his desperate plea for help, said his mother. A 62-year-old leukemia patient couldn't get the weekly blood transfusion to keep her alive because of the severe shortages in blood banks caused by the strict lockdown. A 23-year-old in a surgical emergency for a detached retina found himself in limbo after his repeated attempts to get admitted into a hospital. Almost one-third of HIV patients in China reported they were at risk of running out of medication due to restrictions on their movement imposed by the suspension of transportation, according to a survey conducted in Feb.
By imposing a hasty security cordon without a thorough consideration of the limited resources, the Chinese government could have possibly made the crisis worse in Wuhan, said Mr. Chen Xi, an assistant professor of health policy and economics at the Yale School of Public Health, in an interview with NYTimes. According to Mr.Chen, the preventable death from strokes, heart attacks, and other acute diseases could outnumber the lives saved from treating coronavirus patients.
Draconian measures are the most convenient tools for an authoritarian state to wield in the face of a public outbreak, but they are deemed abhorrent to a just and a free society. There are plenty of things that would work to stop an epidemic, and effectiveness is not the only measure of a valid public health control policy, according to lawyer Alexandra Phelan, a China specialist at Georgetown's Center for Global Health Science and Security. Adopting China's approach in Canada is an exceedingly brazen action that threatens the fundamental principles of democracy and will incur a flood of lawsuits and human rights trials down the road. Ottawa won't have the political courage suggested by Dr. Aylsward to go down that path.
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