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Top Chinese academicians become warriors in battle against novel coronavirus (3)

(People's Daily Online)    10:29, March 19, 2020

Huang Luqi

“Hoping to see a greater role for TCM in the international arena.”

“The treatment statistics at Wuhan Jinyintan Hospital indicate that combining TCM and Western medicine to treat COVID-19 can shorten the course of the disease, as it reduces the need to take extra oxygen by two days,” said Huang Luqi, explaining the efficiency of TCM in fighting the disease on March 12.

Huang, an academician of the CAE and president of the China Academy of Chinese Medical Sciences (CACMS), led the first TCM team to Wuhan Jinyintan Hospital to take over an intensive care unit on Jan. 25, the first day of Spring Festival. Ever since then, they have been fighting the disease on the front line.

“We have been working hard for the past 47 days, spending most of our time with the patients in the wards, coming up with an effective therapy, and we’ve treated over 800 patients with moderate and mild symptoms,” he disclosed.

“Scientific statistics support us in improving our treatment plan and enabling us to better understand clinical efficacy,” Huang said, adding that these figures give them full confidence in TCM, and are also a reflection of their achievements so far.

“We established a CACMS scientific research group upon arrival in the city,” Huang revealed.

He also led his group in developing two applications, in order to get a thorough understanding of patients’ conditions. One is for collecting surface images of patients’ tongues, as tongue analysis has always been an important part of TCM treatment, and the other is for collecting data of patients in communities.

The group analyzed the data provided by the front-line medical team, and then gave feedback to their front-line colleagues, while making according improvements to the treatment plan every day. So far, a huge number of 730G clinical data has been accumulated, said Huang proudly.

“TCM has been incorporated into the entire diagnosis and treatment plan for COVID-19,” he noted, saying that TCM has played a prominent role in treating patients, ranging from those in severe condition to those with only mild symptoms. It has also been proven equally effective in both recovery as well as prevention and control.

“For suspected cases and those who contracted the virus, but not very sick, TCM intervention at an early stage can reduce the risks of becoming severely ill.”

Huang believes that TCM treatment can reduce the disease course and the incidence of severe cases for patients in quarantine with mild symptoms, and stresses the importance of applying TCM treatment in the early stages of the infection.

At the same time, he and the group continually improved the treatment plan by studying clinical manifestations, the development of the disease and past experience, and ended up with a new prescription that featured the removal of damp in the body and detoxification. It was included in the latest version of the Novel Coronavirus Pneumonia Diagnosis and Treatment Plan, released on March 3, as a recommended prescription for severely ill patients.

This remedy was effective on 210 patients with moderate symptoms in a clinic, and 894 patients with mild symptoms in a Fangcang makeshift hospital (452 of the patients received TCM treatment).

“The demand for TCM treatment is high. Eighty percent of severe patients are willing to use the combination of traditional Chinese and Western medicine, while patients with mild symptoms who are prepared to receive TCM treatment is 10 percent higher. Those in quarantine also welcomed TCM treatment in the early stage of infection,” explained Huang, while emphasising that TCM is deeply rooted in the hearts of the Chinese people, and incorporates the concept of healthcare together with the practical experience the Chinese nation has accumulated over thousands of years.

Huang clearly understands the important role data plays in demonstrating the efficiency of TCM treatment and winning the recognition of medical circles. He noted that only by relying on scientific statistics can we ensure evidence-based medical services, evaluate the safety and efficiency of TCM in preventing and controlling a pandemic, and promote the modern and international development of TCM.

As the disease has become rampant in many countries, Huang hopes to take this opportunity to deepen international cooperation on TCM in preventing and controlling the disease. Calling TCM a treasure, he believes that TCM playing a greater role in the international arena is necessary for the building of a community with a shared future of mankind, as well as a way to show China’s responsibility as a major country and the confidence of Chinese culture.


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(Web editor: Hongyu, Liang Jun)

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