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TCM helps fight COVID-19 in Xinjiang

(Xinhua)    09:02, August 10, 2020

When herbs are ready in the pharmacy every morning, Zhang Pengge and his colleagues in the hospital designated for COVID-19 cases in Urumqi, capital of northwest China's Xinjiang Uygur Autonomous Region, would start boiling traditional Chinese medicine (TCM) for patients.

Xinjiang has recently witnessed a resurgence in COVID-19 cases. TCM has been integrated into the therapy there and proved effective.

"A TCM prescription, called 'lung cleansing and detoxifying decoction,' is mainly used on patients with moderate or severe symptoms. It has proved effective in treatment of COVID-19 patients," said Zhang, a TCM physician.

TCM has been applied to the treatment of all COVID-19 patients in Xinjiang, official figures show.

Critically ill patients have specialists from Xinjiang and other parts of China visit them everyday. The specialists write prescriptions based on the patients' conditions and formulate detailed treatment plans after group discussions.

"After checking the patients' tongues and pulses, we offer different remedies for better effect," said Li Fengsen, vice president of the designated hospital for COVID-19 patients in Xinjiang.

According to a white paper issued in June by China's State Council Information Office, titled "Fighting COVID-19: China in Action," TCM has significantly reduced the incidence rate, prevented cases with mild symptoms from worsening, increased the cure rate, and lowered fatality rate.

TCM is also used in treating asymptomatic cases. Such people have no symptoms, or no symptoms in the initial stages, but symptoms could develop later.

"These patients are given TCM prescriptions. They drink a herbal decoction for a week so that they don't develop symptoms or severe symptoms," said Li, adding that TCM is also introduced during the recovery stage to help patients regain their lung functions.

Once their nucleic acid test results turn negative, they are transferred to the recovery wards and then discharged from the hospital, said Li.

Guo Tingting, a nurse at the designated hospital, leads patients in practicing Baduanjin, or traditional Chinese aerobics, at five o'clock every afternoon.

"Based on successful rehabilitation treatment of COVID-19 patients in Wuhan, these exercises help patients relax and speed up their recovery," said Guo.

With the help of TCM as well as Western medicine, a total of 138 confirmed COVID-19 cases were cured and 71 asymptomatic cases discharged from medical observation from July 15 to Aug. 8.

"TCM is quite helpful in speeding up recovery of patients' lungs. We will also provide more diversified care and instrument-aided training to help patients recover as soon as possible," Li said.

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

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