Whatever your thoughts about China, its political system, its human rights record or even the food some people eat; Chinese scientists, doctors and its millions of citizens have valuable lessons (from openly admitted mistakes) to share with the rest of the world right now.

A team of Chinese experts will be arriving in Italy today to help doctors there with the coronavirus disaster they are dealing with.

  • Chinese expert warns country is "still in danger" despite China recording lowest coronavirus cases since outbreak began

Yesterday we spoke to a critical care expert working in Wuhan and he has also been sharing his insight with his Italian counterparts.

From him we learned the following which other countries can learn from China, and the mistakes he freely admitted his country had made:

Lockdowns work

But only if those you are quarantining are given instructions on how to care for themselves and their relatives.

And the lockdown is adhered to and enforced. The model used in China cannot and perhaps should not be used everywhere but lessons can be learned from Singapore and Japan where cases appeared to be on the rise but were brought under control relatively quickly.

In Wuhan, the quarantine did lead to more people becoming infected and people dying at home without help

That was due to people lacking information about the virus, its symptoms and how easily it can spread.

Hospitals in the early days also lacked space and the resources to help everybody.

Other countries can learn and benefit from that hindsight.

Italy has enforced a lockdown on the entire country. Credit: AP

People not showing any symptoms can carry the virus, and someone does not necessarily need to have a fever to have the virus

Therefore, quarantine or self-isolation for those only showing symptoms can fail to detect those also carrying Covid-19. Finding contacts is also key.

Patients can decline rapidly

Doctors in China have seen patients appearing to be normal with mild symptoms but had their oxygen levels been tested they would have been deemed severe and at risk of death.

This virus attacks the lungs, heart and kidneys in severe patients.

Restaurants and bars are shutting their down to prevent the spread of the virus. Credit: AP

Prevention and control, not treatment are the key to tacking and containing the virus

If China had introduced the lockdown in Wuhan just five days earlier, even one day earlier there would have been thousands of less cases and thousands of lives would not have been lost.

Coronavirus: Everything you need to know