How Shenzhen, China avoided widespread community transmission: a potential model for successful prevention and control of COVID-19.Infect Dis Poverty. 2020 Jul 10; 9(1):89.ID
Shenzhen is a city of 22 million people in south China that serves as a financial and trade center for East Asia. The city has extensive ties to Hubei Province, the first reported epicenter of the coronavirus disease 2019 (COVID-19) outbreak in the world. Initial predictions suggested Shenzhen would experience a high number of COVID-19 cases. These predictions have not materialized. As of 31 March 2020 Shenzhen had only 451 confirmed cases of COVID-19. Contact tracing has shown that no cases were the result of community transmission within the city. While Shenzhen did not implement a citywide lockdown like Wuhan, it did put into place a rapid response system first developed after the severe acute respiratory syndrome (SARS) epidemic in 2003. In the wake of the 2003 SARS outbreak, Shenzhen health authority created a network for surveillance and responding to novel respiratory infections, including pneumonia of unknown causes (PUC). The network rapidly detected mass discussion about PUC and immediately deployed emergency preparedness, quarantine for close contacts of PUC. Five early actions (early detection, early reporting, early diagnosis, early isolation, and early treatment) and four centralized responses (centralized coordination by experts, centralized allocation of resources, centralized placement of patients, and centralized provision of treatment) ensured effective prevention and control. Tripartite working teams comprising community cadres, medical personnel and police were formulated to conduct contact tracing at each neighborhood and residential community. Incorporation of mobile technology, big data, and artificial intelligence into COVID-19 response increased accessibility to health services, reduced misinformation and minimized the impact of fake news. Shenzhen's unique experience in successfully controlling the COVID-19 outbreak may be a useful model for countries and regions currently experiencing rapid spread of the virus.