教授觀點 | 北大國發劉國恩：對全球疫情的反思
北京大學國家發展研究院 2020-08-11 瀏覽量: 1865
COVID-19 has brought unprecedented health threat to people around world. The rapid spread of COVID-19 calls for the cooperation between China and United States to tackle common threats. In this context, a virtual program with experts from China and U.S. was held by National Committee on United States-China Relations and the National School of Development at Peking University to discuss the topics of public health reforms, containment strategies, and healthcare delivery, and further reforms.
Under the command of our strong central government, a series of measures were implemented, such as lockdown, screening, tracing, and isolation. More importantly, these measures were closely followed by the local governments to implement, a nearly universal coverage of the state interventions through the highly regulated nationwide community networks on both supply side – for business, and demand side – for household.
The non-governmental conditions also play a vital role in the health outcomes. For instance, people from different cultures may behave differently on social distancing and self-protections. Trade-offs between health and wealth, or quantity and quality of life may contribute to different outcomes. For instance, both China and India take very strict state orders, but people between the two nations behave quite differently in risk protections against the virus. Consequently, the two nations had quite different health outcomes. Another interesting example is China and Japan. China is much stronger in government order, while Japanese government counts more on the role of good citizens’ self-compliant behaviors, also resulting in outstanding economic and health outcome so far.
Public hospitals have been fully utilized to contain the pandemic in China. The government mobilizes more than 42000 healthcare professionals from nationwide to join the front-line Wuhan, Hubei to fight against the virus. A broad range of medical and technological supplies, most of which are from the public health system, are provided to support Wuhan and other areas in Hubei. As the result, almost all confirmed cases receive treatments in public hospitals.
First, while almost all COVID-19 patients in Wuhan obtained good-quality treatments from hospitals, but a question remained is whether and how it is economically cost-effective to treat all patients in hospitals regardless of their conditions? Epidemiological data finds that over 80% of the confirmed cases are in mild conditions, many of which may be better treated in community-based healthcare providers or even home care with an appropriate medical support. What if COVID-19 would be back for multiple times and would be at a much larger scale in many regions in the future? Would it be sustainable to treat all patients in hospitals while idling many of the non-hospital facilities and resources?
Second, allocating almost all medical and financial resource nationwide to focus on treating the identified COVID-19 patients, many patients with other diseases such as cardiovascular or cancer conditions were put on hold without immediate treatment due to hospital shutdown or limited access to care. It is necessary to consider the trade-offs between visible lost lives immediately from COVID-19 and invisible lost lives from other leading killers. As a reference, the total death tolls of COVID-19 around the world were about 3500 per day for the first half year of 2020, while cardiovascular disease alone killed over 48000 people per day globally.
中美如何合作？“How China and US can collaborate?”
US has been a technological leader, and China is still a follower in many fields. It is reasonable and understandable for US to concern more on technology stealing and intellectual property right protections. In order to promote a good and effective collaboration between US and China, I think it is good for US to come up with more transparent and easy-to-follow guidelines. Following such guidelines, researchers in both countries can continue to perform exchanges in science and technology through visiting scholar programs, educational programs and other initiatives.
關于指導方針“About the Guideline”
I am very much concerned with the current political environments that are not instrumental to our collaborations globally. Whether like or not, we are all run by governments. I highly recommend that the two governments meet, talk, and discuss to come up with collaborative guidelines that are transparent and easy to follow and implement. With such good guidelines available, we can move ahead to better collaborate around the world.