Professor Wilmot James is a former South African member of parliament who now teaches political science and conducts (non-clinical) research on children and catastrophes in pediatrics at Columbia University in New York City. The Brenthurst Foundation spoke to him about the Covid-19 pandemic, which he calls a 'slow-moving hurricane' - a wildly uncertain event affecting every part of our personal and public lives.
Listen to a podcast with Wilmot James about Covid-19 here.
There is a need to test aggressively and to shut down travel
When you compare the rate of new infections for European countries with those of Asian countries, a startling pattern emerges:
South Korea, Japan, Singapore and Hong Kong report a much slower rate of infection than the US, UK, Spain, Italy and others. What is the difference between these countries? According to Professor James, they learnt as they went along, and acted swiftly.
"There are a couple of lessons there. The one is that if you test 'aggressively' you know what you're looking at, you know who's at risk and you understand the rate of infection. Testing helps you to know the scale of the problem and to act on that. So, the lesson is...