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Traditional Chinese medicine plays major role in fighting epidemic

(People's Daily Online)    11:25, March 26, 2020

By March 23, central China’s Hubei province, the epicenter of the country’s COVID-19 outbreak in the country, had not reported any confirmed or suspected cases for five consecutive days. One of the important reasons behind this success in combating the epidemic was traditional Chinese medicine (TCM).

Leng Caixia (L), a pharmacist of traditional Chinese medicine (TCM), prepares herbs to produce doses of TCM decoctions to help combat the novel coronavirus epidemic at Xiaogan Chinese Medical Hospital in Xiaogan City, central China's Hubei Province, Feb. 25, 2020.(Xinhua/Hu Huhu)

The first national TCM team arrived at the Jinyintan Hospital in Wuhan, Hubei province, on Jan. 25. With no specialized TCM pharmacies or formulas, they had to begin their efforts from scratch, and took over an inpatient ward in the hospital.

“This is the first time that TCM medical workers have taken over an independent ward in a hospital in an emergency since the People’s Republic of China was founded, opening a new front against the novel coronavirus that was centered around TCM,” said Huang Luqi, president of the China Academy of Chinese Medical Sciences (CACMS).

At the same time as setting up the TCM medical team and refining TCM treatments for pneumonia, TCM medical workers also took charge of the Jiangxia temporary hospital in the city.

During its 26 days of operation, the Jiangxia temporary hospital received a total of 564 pneumonia patients, 394 of whom were cured and discharged using TCM treatment methods, including medicine, acupuncture and the martial art Tai Chi.

A total of 74,187 pneumonia patients have been treated using traditional Chinese medicine, accounting for 91.5 percent of the total cases in China, according to Yu Yanhong from the National Administration of Traditional Chinese Medicine.

Meanwhile, clinical observation suggests that TCM proved effective in over 90 percent of cases.

To control the spread of the coronavirus in Wuhan, Tong Xiaolin, chief researcher with the CACMS, and other experts formulated a recipe customized to treat patients with mild forms of pneumonia, suspected cases and those with high temperatures and kept in quarantine.

The medicine was then given to patients in Wuhan with the support of the government. It was found to prevent patients with mild symptoms from rapid deterioration and kept severe cases under a degree of control, according to Tong.

In Wuhan’s Wuchang District, which was severely stricken by the epidemic, more than 90 percent of suspected cases became confirmed cases by Jan. 28. TCM intervention started from Feb. 2, and the diagnosis rate fell to 30 percent by Feb. 6 and then to about 3 percent by March 5.

(For the latest China news, Please follow People's Daily on Twitter and Facebook)
(Web editor: Hongyu, Bianji)

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