Sustainable COVID-19 Mitigation: Wuhan Lockdowns, Health Inequities, and Patient Evacuation

Document Type : Perspective


1 School of Geoscience, Physics and Safety, College of Health, Science and Technology, University of Central Missouri, Warrensburg, MO, USA

2 School of Environment, Northeast Normal University, Changchun, Jilin, China


The world is urgently looking for ways to flatten the coronavirus disease 2019 (COVID-19) curve, and many governments have resorted to implementing strict lockdowns, as researchers show the effectiveness of China’s approaches in containing the virus. However, this paper argues that the draconian lockdowns instituted in Wuhan, Hubei, China, may have actually contributed to intensifying patient surges and incapacitating local health systems. Medical aids were rushed to Hubei and new hospitals were rapidly built, however, the healthcare system was still unable to match the staggering increase of patients in the early stages of the lockdowns. The paper proposes using patient evacuation to enhance sustainable COVID-19 mitigation during lockdowns. It demonstrates that patients in Hubei could have been transported to other Chinese provinces where hospitals were under-utilized. This could have theoretically saved thousands of lives by reducing inequities between Hubei and the rest of China in healthcare capacity for treating COVID-19 patients.


Main Subjects

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Volume 9, Issue 10
October 2020
Pages 415-418
  • Receive Date: 09 April 2020
  • Revise Date: 25 April 2020
  • Accept Date: 26 April 2020
  • First Publish Date: 01 October 2020