The Chinese government under the control of the Chinese Communist Party selected a lockdown to control COVID-19 in the first half of 2020. The main purpose of lockdown was to restrict the activities of ordinary people including their everyday life. The transfer from Wuhan/Hebei province to other cities/provinces was under severe restrictions. The Chinese government stopped the public transportations including railway, subway, bus, ships, and private car drive in Wuhan. The mobilization inside Wuhan was also under severe regulations, to buy everyday food was also under the mobilization permit. These kinds of severe and big-scale lockdown were the first case in the history of public health.
The lockdown was very effective to control COVID-19 in Wuhan, the pandemic was quite controlled in a few months. To control mobilization, the Chinese government prepared to supply much food, medical instruments for the ordinary people of Wuhan, and the central and local governments also paid much attention to support the people’s everyday life. The Chinese People’s Liberation Army was also mobilized to support the lockdown.
Why did the Chinese government succeed in anti-COVID-19? In Wuhan and other Chinese urban districts, “community” (社区 She-qu) played a key role in the lockdown. The severe inspections for health conditions were advanced at the health stations in the “community” by the staff who had a close tie with the local unit of the Chinese Communist Party. A severe curfew was also advanced based on “community” and sub-“community” (小区 Xiao-qu). The origin of this method was started at the anti-SARS movement in 2003, but the digitalization of community or personal control by the advanced ITC systems, for example, the “Health Code” was one of the new key methods at the control of COVID-19 pandemic in 2020.
The reality in China shows us that the “community” control is the reason why the Chinese government succeed in the control of COVID-19. The urban “community” was reorganized during the period of the privatization of the state-owned company, but only few studies discussed the role of public health. How to examine the role of “community” of China in the history of public health and the contemporary anti-epidemic measures is one of the important topics in Chinese studies and public health studies.