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

China Daily:

Thank you. Question from China Daily. It has been more than a month since medical workers from across China raced to Wuhan to help fight the virus – and we know that you are all part of that effort. So, my question is, what have those medical teams contributed in terms of treating COVID-19 patients in Hubei, and in Wuhan. Second, after weeks of intense work, what is on the top of your mind right now? What would you like to share with us the most? Thank you. 

Xi Yanchun:

May I suggest each of you say a few words for this question please? 

Du Bin:

Thanks. I'm not quite sure if I'm the right person to answer the first question, because I think the question is to the healthcare authorities rather than us. But anyway, I'll come directly to the second question. Although this is a chance for us, my colleagues and I, to share our experiences to the international community, I would say that the Chinese approach for the control of the epidemics may not be the only approach. 

We can see what has happened in Singapore and what has happened in Japan. I would say that my colleagues and I can learn from their experiences. Whenever you have a quite different situation, in terms of the number of cases and the community support system, you can adopt a quite different approach that achieves a similar success in controlling epidemics. 

So, it's also an opportunity for us to learn from each other – just like we said for the Chinese medicine and western medicine. So, the last sentence from me is that the beauty of the world lies in its diversity, but not identity. Thanks. 

Xi Yanchun:

Okay, Professor Yan, please. 

Yan Xiaowei:

I think it's my great pleasure to come to Wuhan as a doctor in the intensive care unit to save my patients. Yes, in the intensive care unit, I have had so many casualties – this kind of experience I will never forget in my life.

And also, I'm very glad to be here to share my experience with overseas friends and colleagues. Thank you very much.

Xi Yanchun:

Ok. Cao Wei, please.

Cao Wei:

I want to share some personal feelings. 17 years ago, when SARS came, I was still a medical student in college. At that time, I was the one to be protected. And this time, I was able to come here with my teachers and seniors to fight together for my people and my country. I'm very proud of that and I'm sure that's a common feeling of all the medical workers here in Wuhan – despite sacrificing a lot, personally, and being apart from our families for such a long time. But it deserves. 

Lastly, I want to express my deep thanks and show respect for all the nurses that have been working with us. They have taken the same responsibilities as us and, not like me, many of the nurses who have come to Wuhan are actually very young. Most of them were born in the 1990s with only remote memories of the SARS season. But when it came, they all stood up and came here. Without them we wouldn't have achieved so much, especially for these critically ill patients. So, thank you very much.

Xi Yanchun:

Okay, Dr. Wu, please.

Wu Dong:

Thanks for the question. Also, some personal feelings. During the last five weeks, I was totally devoted to caring for patients in the ICU. The only thing I feel sorry for is that I couldn't take care of my own family, as a father and as a husband. Five weeks ago when I left Beijing for here, my eight-year-old daughter asked me, "dad, why are you going to Wuhan?" To be honest, it was a question that I couldn't quite answer at that time. But last week I had a patient in the ICU. She was a 57-year-old woman and she was very sick. So, our plan was to intubate her and put her on mechanical ventilation. That seemed the only way to save her life.

Before incubation, she whispered several words to me in Wuhan dialect, so it was difficult for me to understand what she was talking about. But finally, I figured out what she said and it was, "Doc, I don't want to die. The end of this month is my daughter's wedding day." At that very moment, and deep in my heart, I saw that many of our patients are parents too. They love their own kids, the same as I do. It also reminds me of the novel by Gabriel García Márquez, "Love in the Time of Cholera." What I learned from the novel is that human beings are mortal, but love is not.

So why did I come to Wuhan? It's not only about professionalism or responsibility; it is also about love. I love my daughter, I love my patients, I love my country and I love humankind. As humankind, we are all in this together and we will get through this together. Thanks.

Xi Yanchun:

Thank you. I'm quite touched by what all these experts have just shared with us. I'd like to say that the COVID-19 outbreak is neither the first nor the last challenge confronting all mankind. 

The pandemic knows no borders. The only right thing for the world to do is to make concerted efforts. While combating the disease at home, China will work hand in hand with other countries and contribute our strength and wisdom to securing a final victory.

Today, the four experts from the PUMC hospital shared a lot of valuable experiences. When they came to Wuhan, they didn't know how long this would take and how many difficulties and challenges would be faced. But from what they just said, we know how important it is to have them with us when combating the virus. 

I'm sure people in Wuhan and in Hubei will remember all of them forever. And the Chinese people will be very proud of them – all the Chinese doctors and nurses. So lastly, I suggest we take a group photo together and give a thumbs-up to all the Chinese doctors and nurses. Well done. 

Thank you very much. That's the end of the briefing. Thank you. Bye bye.

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