Medical workers prepare traditional Chinese medicine at a hospital in Zigui County of Yichang, central China's Hubei Province, March 27, 2020. (Photo by Wang Jiaman/Xinhua)
Top TCM experts said that TCM played a positive role in the stages of early prevention, early intervention treatment, intensive assisted treatment and post-cure recovery.
WUHAN, April 15 (Xinhua) -- The combined use of traditional Chinese medicine (TCM) and Western medicine is one of the biggest highlights in China's fight against the novel coronavirus disease (COVID-19), which has helped lower the ratio of serious cases and mortality, top TCM experts have said.
Tu Jinwen, leader of the TCM expert group in Hubei province, said that the usage of TCM during the therapy in Hubei, the former center of the epidemic, was over 90 percent.
"It has proved TCM played a positive role in the stages of early prevention, early intervention treatment, intensive assisted treatment and post-cure recovery," Tu said Tuesday in a group interview.
Considering the fact that there are no specific drugs or vaccines to cure the disease, China set up a joint working group on TCM and integrated the whole country's TCM resources immediately following the outbreak.
A medical worker examines a patient with traditional Chinese medicine therapies at a temporary hospital in Jiangxia District in Wuhan, central China's Hubei Province, Feb. 25, 2020. (Xinhua/Shen Bohan)
Over 4,900 medics from TCM hospitals and institutions across China were sent to aid the fight in Hubei, showing an unprecedented involvement of TCM in epidemic treatment.
Four to eight experts regularly visited all the 16 public-facility-turned temporary hospitals in Wuhan, dispensing herbs and decoction for those in need.
A TCM-oriented temporary hospital was also set up in Wuhan's Jiangxia District, where a total of 564 confirmed COVID-19 cases with mild symptoms were treated. None of them turned into severe cases, said Zhang Boli, an academician of the Chinese Academy of Engineering.
According to Zhang, TCM decoction in combination with other comprehensive treatment means, such as massage, auricular therapy, acupuncture-moxibustion and body exercises of Tai Chi and Baduanjin, was applied to patients in the hospital.
"Considering the WHO figures that some 13 percent of mild cases turn serious around the world, the practices in Jiangxia temporary hospital proved the special effect of TCM in preventing deterioration and improving the self-cure rate," he said.
A medical worker treats a patient with traditional Chinese medicine therapies at a temporary hospital in Jiangxia District in Wuhan, central China's Hubei Province, Feb. 25, 2020. (Xinhua/Shen Bohan)
According to Liu Qingquan, president of Beijing Hospital of Traditional Chinese Medicine, a patient in serious conditions suffered from severe short breaths in Wuhan Hospital of Traditional Chinese Medicine.
"The blood oxygen saturation greatly improved after the patient took the TCM," Liu said.
Qiu Haibo, vice president of Zhongda Hospital Southeast University, said the early intervention by TCM was helpful to control the inflammation and improve asthmatic symptoms. For those with serious conditions, the combined use of TCM and Western medicine was emphasized.
Qiu, who used to be a Western-medicine doctor, said TCM teams allocated to the 55 designated hospitals for the COVID-19 treatment in Wuhan found the application of Xuebijing, a TCM anti-virus parenteral solution, was found to have significantly lowered the mortality and suppressed the process of pneumonia.
"The multi-target effects of TCM injections are worth paying attention for the treatment," he said. ■