Dr. Zhang Wenhong (张文宏), Director, Infectious Diseases Department of Huashan Hospital, an affiliate of Fudan University who also serves as leader of the Shanghai COVID-19 Treatment Experts Team, commented in an interview on 2 August 2020.
“During the ongoing COVID-19 pandemic, life in Shenzhen has been essentially normal. This is the best proof of a successful prevention and control campaign conducted by the Shenzhen authorities. Shenzhen has been setting an example in COVID-19 prevention and control for other large cities. One thousand negative pressure hospital rooms were built, but they have hardly been used since Shenzhen authorities have adopted strong prevention and control measures which were successful.”
Shenzhen has amassed a great amount of experience in COVID-19 prevention and control. Assessing this, Dr. Zhang attributed Shenzhen’s success to the following factors.
To start with, the use of artificial intelligence (AI) in healthcare in Shenzhen has surged amid the COVID-19 pandemic and so far played a significant role in detection and treatment of infected patients. This helps achieve the “five-early-actions” goals - early detection, early reporting, early diagnosis, early isolation and early treatment.
Shenzhen also has quickly launched a large scale expansion of hospitals, including a significant increase in negative pressure hospital rooms. Additionally, Shenzhen No. 3 People’s Hospital has 1,000 negative pressure rooms. Also, top medical medical experts in Shenzhen got together to fight the COVID-19 pandemic. Those efforts have also prepared Shenzhen for future outbreaks and established a new response model to epidemics in China.
Furthermore, Shenzhen continuously allocates social resources to increase isolation wards and improve detection abilities. Shenzhen No. 3 People’s Hospital has established a streamlined testing procedure which can help Shenzhen’s COVID-19 detection abilities, extending to 7,000 - 8,000 tests per day. This also prepares Shenzhen for possible outbreaks through imported cases and shows Shenzhen as a city with strong and effective management capabilities which set a good example for other large cities.
Finally, Shenzhen, a city of immigrants, also has many ports of entry which carry high risks of importing COVID-19 cases. Besides continuously building hospital isolation rooms and improving detection abilities, Shenzhen has adopted other effective control measures for passengers entering through its ports. There is also a very good early warning mechanism which once triggered would immediately initiate precise prevention and control measures.