SCIO briefing on the science-based treatment of severe COVID-19 cases

The State Council Information Office held a press conference Monday afternoon in Wuhan, central China's Hubei province, to brief the media and answer questions concerning the science-based treatment of severe COVID-19 cases. March 21, 2020


Thank you very much. I'm from Japanese TV. It's called NTV. My question is: In China, various new technologies, including 5G network or robots are used to fight against coronavirus. How do technologies help doctors? What do you think about the most dramatic change by these technologies? Thank you. 

Wu Dong:

Thank you. I will take this question. You raised the issue of new technology in this campaign. But first of all, please allow me to make clear that, I don't think it's new technology that we rely on to bring the situation under control. I think we have brought the situation under control because we are still following the classic theory of epidemiology, which is to control the source of infection, cut down the spread route, and protect those susceptible population. 

But on the other hand, in terms of new technology, I'm glad to share with you that by utilizing the 5G network, we have established a virtual online consultation system. We routinely have those online meetings with experts in PUMC hospital back in Beijing, so we can discuss some difficult and complicated cases with them almost face-to-face. I think this enables us to provide high-quality care to all of our patients. And also in our daily practice, we routinely use mechanical ventilation, bedside ultrasonography, continuous renal replacement therapy. I think these new technologies will give us more weapons or opportunities to fight the coronavirus and protect people. Thank you. 

Du Bin:

I only have a few words apart from what Dr. Wu said. As far as I know, the teleconference with doctors and experts back in their mother hospital, thousands of miles away, is a common practice within each national medical team here in Wuhan or in other cities in Hubei. So this is number one. 

And number two, the so-called virtual hospital, or virtual medical care system, is not only for us the doctors, but also for the patients. Whenever the patients are advised to stay at home, as patients with other diseases, other than COVID-19—especially in epicenters as like Wuhan or other cities in Hubei, that they are advised to stay at home—however, whenever they think there's any need to seek for medical advice, medical care, they can get access to the doctors through the virtual hospital or medical care apps. 

And third, as far as I know, some of the investigators are now trying to do some research that, with the use of the wearable devices, for those patients who are asked to do the home isolation or home quarantine, that some kind of artificial intelligence will tell what is the probability that they have the COVID-19 or the disease progression, and when is the right time to go to see the doctor, or you should be okay to continue staying at home. Thanks. 

Xi Yanchun:

Okay, the very last two questions: one for a foreign journalist and one for a Chinese reporter. The gentleman in the middle area, 3rd line. 

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