Special Report

What Countries With Some Success Against the Coronavirus Are Doing to Flatten the Curve

Source: bluejayphoto / iStock

> Measure: Large-scale testing
> COVID-19 confirmed cases: 1,701
> COVID-19 related deaths: 8
> Population: 352,000

Iceland is testing people for COVID-19 on a very large scale. Even people who are showing no symptoms are able to get tested. By the beginning of April, the island nation has tested more of its population for the novel coronavirus than any other country, according to online statistics site Worldometer.

Screening the general population increases the possibility of catching the infection early in people before they start showing symptoms or catching people who are infected and remain asymptomatic. The infected people can then self-isolate, helping to stop the spread of the pandemic. The country reported its first COVID-19 confirmed case on Feb. 28, 2020. As of April 13, there were 1,701 cases.

Perhaps because of its ability to test people, Iceland has not implemented the strict social distancing rules seen elsewhere in the world. Primary schools and daycare centers remain open. Restaurants can also stay open, though they have to provide limited seating. Travel is not banned, and tourists are not required to self-quarantine. However, gatherings are limited to no more than 20 people.

Source: Charles McQuillan / Getty Images News via Getty Images

> Measure: Public facilities closed, work from home
> COVID-19 confirmed cases: 9,655
> COVID-19 related deaths: 334
> Population: 4.9 million

Already on March 31, Ireland reported a drop in the growth of new COVID-19 confirmed cases. Schools, colleges, and other public facilities have been closed since March 12. All pubs have been closed, too. People were asked to stay at home as much as possible and only leave if they were essential workers, to go food shopping, to exercise, or to care for sick people. Gatherings of more than four people were banned. All nonessential travel within the country was banned as well.

Ireland’s number of COVID-19-related deaths per 100,000 people is somewhat lower than that of neighboring Great Britain, but the reported rate of infection in Ireland is slightly higher. Even though the average daily case growth has fallen to 9% on April 10 from 15% the week before, the lockdown has been extended until May 5. Even then, restrictions will be lifted one by one, not all at the same time.

Source: Kevin Frayer / Getty Images News via Getty Images

> Measure: Extreme lockdowns
> COVID-19 confirmed cases: 84,535
> COVID-19 related deaths: 3,341
> Population: 1.3 billion

China took what was considered at the time the extraordinary measure of shutting down Wuhan, where the coronavirus orginated, on Jan. 23. Transportation in and out of the city of 11 million people was shut down with no exceptions. Schools and shops were closed indefinitely, and private cars and public transport was halted. In some sections of the city, residents were forbidden from leaving their homes. In some cases, officials went door to door to check for those who might be infected, forcing those who are to isolate, measures the West would consider draconian. Guards posted at residential buildings monitored the temperatures of people attempting to enter the building. Eventually the lockdown in China involved other cities, amounting to about 760 million people by one analysis.

Chinese authorities aggressively imposed quarantines and converted large venues such as stadiums into quarantine areas and converted many of these facilities into temporary hospitals.

Sponsored: Find a Qualified Financial Advisor

Finding a qualified financial advisor doesn’t have to be hard. SmartAsset’s free tool matches you with up to 3 fiduciary financial advisors in your area in 5 minutes. Each advisor has been vetted by SmartAsset and is held to a fiduciary standard to act in your best interests. If you’re ready to be matched with local advisors that can help you achieve your financial goals, get started now.