Could cause panic.” “Will not help end the crisis.” “Could backfire.”
When the Chinese government blocked most travel into and out of the city at the center of the Covid-19 outbreak in late January, many public health experts took to social media and op-ed pages to decry the measure as not only draconian and a violation of individual rights but also as ineffective: This largest quarantine in history — the city, Wuhan, has a population of 11 million, and the lockdown has been expanded — would have little effect on the course of the epidemic, they argued.
As the U.S. and other countries imposed travel restrictions, even the World Health Organization questioned whether they were a good idea. But early evidence is causing some disease fighters to
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