This is the great nadir of our times. It’s the sort of emperor of all maladies out there and the predicament you don’t really wish even for the worst of your enemies. Or do you? At this point in time where you could be seriously concerned about many things- whether it is matters related to vocation, travel, savings, even regular stuff like doing errands for the home- there is this big news being played out on our TV sets- Coronavirus!

It is, truth be told, the kind of worry that has got even the most nonchalant panicking. Truth be told, forget the fact that it’s not the first time that a communicable virus outbreak has threatened the course of mankind, there were always the tales about the bubonic plague and the recent outbreak of swine flu in the country’s national capital that got all worried.

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But never before has the need to contain a serious viral threat of Coronavirus has seemed more serious, particularly when one takes into consideration the scale at which this ‘mortal’ threat to mankind has wreaked havoc.

And here is what you need to know at this point in time.

The Covid-19 disease, as it is medically known, that emerged from China and has, since then traveled to different parts of the world- with many cases having already been reported from Italy and Iran- has engulfed China’s attention, once again.

Coronavirus cases in china
Stringer/EPA/EFE

So why is that and what really happened, of lately?

It now finally appears that after breaking the back of the Wuhan region- in China, from where it emanated, before traveling around different parts of the globe- there is reason to believe that the rampantly-spreading cases of Coronavirus are finally declining.

Believe it or not, a WHO report suggests that back at the Hubei province, the very region from where 83 percent of the 89,000 cases have been recorded, the cases of Coronavirus are declining. And this is happening at a steady rate.

So how do we treat this piece of news then? Has a bright ray of sunshine finally returned to our planet after taking the light out of us?

Widely-known media platform Vox.com stated the following:

In recent weeks, though, the number of new infections and deaths reported in China has been declining, which suggests spread of the virus may have peaked there and that transmission is slowing down.

It’s now critical that the rest of the world learn as much as it can from China’s efforts to respond to and limit the spread of the virus.

That was precisely the intention of a recent World Health Organization (WHO) mission to China, led by the agency’s assistant director general and veteran epidemiologist Bruce Aylward. Its major finding: “China’s bold approach to contain the rapid spread of this new respiratory pathogen has changed the course of a rapidly escalating and deadly epidemic.”

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On Monday, Vox talked to Aylward about the big takeaways from the mission’s report: the playbook China used to curb Covid-19 spread, why speed in responding to an outbreak is so crucial, whether we can trust China’s data, and why smoking could be exacerbating the impact of the epidemic there. Our conversation has been edited for length and clarity.

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