SCIO briefing on the progress of COVID-19 control and medical treatment

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Science is the most powerful weapon to defeat the epidemic. General Secretary Xi Jinping has repeatedly stressed that science and technology are indispensable to control the epidemic. We must adhere to scientific prevention and control, and accelerate the development of scientific research and technology. What progress has been made on research during this period of epidemic prevention and control? What achievements can be shared with the international community? Besides, what is the main direction and focus of the scientific research in the next step? Thank you.

Ding Xiangyang:

Thanks for your question. General Secretary Xi Jinping and the CPC central committee have attached great importance to scientific research on epidemic prevention and control. Following the arrangement of the Leading Group of the CPC Central Committee for Coronavirus Prevention and Control, the Central Guidance Team in Hubei has been focusing on the needs of the frontline prevention, control and treatment work in actively promoting scientific research. Under the Joint Prevention and Control Mechanism of the State Council, the Ministry of Science and Technology, the National Health Commission, the National Medical Products Administration and the Ministry of Education have jointly set up a research group focusing on five major fields, as well as nine teams specializing in such areas as treatment medicine, vaccine,TCM and big data so as to mobilize national scientific and technological strength to ensure full success in the work.

Regarding drug screening, both the TCM and Western medicine are given equal value. After screening over 5,000 kinds of medicine, we have conducted clinical trials of specific types for different groups of patients, those with mild and moderate infections.

In terms of blocking a mild symptom from developing into a severe one, both TCM treatment and the combined treatment of TCM and Western medicine have achieved remarkable results. A new medicine developed by a team of TCM academicians shows that clinical symptoms of the cases in which it has been used were significantly relieved and none of the cases became severe. The therapeutic outcome of the screened ready-made TCMs indicates that they have definite curative effect.

With regard to the new technology of clinical treatment, the convalescent plasma therapy and stem cell treatment are being explored for severely and critically-ill patients. This is also a safe and effective means to reduce the disease mortality currently.

Regarding vaccine development, we are promoting five parallel technical directions. Most of the vaccines should be available for clinical trials by mid-April or even earlier. This is good news for everyone.

As for detection technology and product development, researchers have been racing against time to develop a number of detection products. By March 3, a total of 14 detection reagents had appeared on the market after emergency approval.

We are focusing on the front-line prevention and control needs of Wuhan city and Hubei province at large and seeking to speed up emergency research to come up with more achievements that are increasingly practical and effective. Thank you.

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