The first is called trying to reduce the number of infected by means of Containment, which entails the measure of testing and tracing infected individuals and where possible isolating them. This is very costly and laborious, if not anything else.
The other possibility is the measure of mitigation, which is simply said trying to reduce the rate of spread of the virus and thereby flatten the curve of infection rate. This will be done through trying to delay the rate of spread by creating boundaries between those who are potentially infected and not infected and curb the means of spread, reduce the number of gatherings, distancing between people and avoiding any potential infection route of the virus.
This will specially enable the available health care system of a given country to cope with the challanges of treating the patients more efficiently and effectively. Spread out the peak by extending the time of infection.
Another possibility is yet a more stringent measure of locking down of people into their respective areas, mostly their own homes and similar spatial limitation.
China resorted to this last method and to some degree succeeded in trying to mitigate the effect of the novel virus, which stroke its country at first.
While the rest of the world is trying to reduce the possibilty of people coming together, I came across today in the internet where young people in Ethiopia are gathering themsleves in the name of volunteering to help the rest in the community wash their hands. I am not an expert in the area of health care or the more special area of epidemic study, but the means they are using seems to me at odd to what the rest of the world is undertaking.
Untrained young people gathering in the name of helping, while schools are closed to avoid gathering.
Making the impression that washing hands will be the ultimate means to protect oneself against a very virulent novel virus, could be fatal, in my view.
I am not sure how much the washing itself is hygienically sound, no trowels to dry the hands after washing the hands, which is very important, because a wet hand can even support the spread of the virus on the objects the hand may touch afterwards.
I am not an expert but my good feelings tell me that everything you have to do should be geared towards avoiding contacts instead of supporting it. If people come together the chance of making a contact amongst themselves is higher, hence more risky.
In the case of Ethiopia I may add that the only viable means to resort to is the locking down of people, limit contact at all levels! Testing, tracing, treatment and all sorts of care might be out of reach for us for now, unfortunately. Draw a lesson from Italy, which is a very sad situation and that scene shouldn't be repeated anywhere in this world.