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

Xi Yanchun:

Ladies and gentlemen, friends from the media, good afternoon. Welcome to today's briefing. Now, the COVID-19 epidemic has become a common challenge facing the whole world. In order to save people's lives, the Chinese government has acted decisively and launched a large-scale rescue mission. In a very short time, China has dispatched over 330 medical teams and sent more than 40,000 medics to the virus-hit Hubei province. Today, it is a great honor for us to invite four experts from among those 40,000 medics. All of them are from the Peking Union Medical College Special Aid Medical Team. They will share their experiences in the treatment of COVID-19, especially in severe cases in Wuhan. Before I introduce the distinguished experts, let's watch a short video about them.

Welcome back. Please allow me to introduce to you the four experts from Peking Union Medical College Hospital: Professor and Dr. Du Bin, director of Medical ICU. He is also the chairman of the Intensive Care Medicine Branch, Chinese Medical Doctor Association. Professor and Dr. Yan Xiaowei, professor of cardiology and deputy head of the Department of Internal Medicine. Dr. Cao Wei, associate chief physician and deputy head of the Department of Infectious Disease. Dr. Wu Dong, associate chief physician at the Department of Digestive Disease. Now, I would like to let them say a few words about their team and also about themselves. Dr. Du, please. 

Du Bin:

Good afternoon, ladies and gentlemen. This is Dr. Du Bin, again. I'm one member of the national expert team as well as a member of our team. I spent the last two and half days visiting five different hospitals in five cities to review the most critically ill patients with COVID-19 there, and I just rushed back to Wuhan a few hours ago. I would like to say a few more words about our team.

As you may know, Peking Union Medical College Hospital has been the number one hospital according to the "national best hospital rankings" for about 10 years. It's the responsibility of my colleagues and I to participate in the medical rescue team, when the local health care resources have been overwhelmed by the COVID-19 outbreak. We spent the first couple of days remodeling one of the general wards into an intensive care unit and started admitting the most critically ill patients with COVID-19 on Feb. 4.

It is not just ourselves fighting alone against COVID-19. We have strong support from the teams of Tongji Hospital, as well as other medical rescue teams. In addition, we also have very strong support from our colleagues in our hospital back in Beijing, through weekly teleconferences to communicate with them about the most difficult cases. This can maximize our efforts in order to rescue the lives of patients. Thank you.

Xi Yanchun:

Thank you very much Dr. Du. Professor Yan, please go ahead.

Yan Xiaowei:

Hi, good afternoon, ladies and gentlemen. I'm Dr. Yan from the Internal Medicine of PUMC Hospital. My duty in Wuhan is to coordinate the different departments of internal medicine for successful performance. I also propose and organize the MDTs with PUMC Hospital. As a cardiologist, I'm also responsible for the management of COVID-19 patients complicated by cardiac events and those with previously established cardiovascular diseases. Thank you.

Xi Yanchun:

Thank you very much Dr. Yan. Dr. Cao, please. 

Cao Wei:

Good afternoon, ladies and gentlemen. I'm Dr. Cao Wei from the same hospital. I'm a physician of infectious diseases, and I treat patients with different infections. I arrived in Wuhan on Feb. 7 and have been here ever since as a member of the national medical team of PUMC Hospital. As a team, we worked together, as Dr. Du said, to set up an emergency intensive care unit, and have been taking care of critically ill patients with COVID-19 in Wuhan. Personally, I participate in the clinical care of these patients and I'm also involved in the coordination of the clinical collaboration with local hospitals here in Wuhan. Thank you.

Xi Yanchun:

Thank you very much, Dr. Cao. Lastly, Dr. Wu, please. 

Wu Dong:

Thank you, good afternoon. I'm Dr. Wu Dong, an associate professor in gastroenterology in PUMC Hospital. I've been working there since 2003, the year when SARS epidemic took place. I came to Wuhan about five weeks ago and I took the service here as a calling to myself, because last time I wasn't offered the opportunity to fight coronavirus, and I didn't want to miss it this time. So, currently I'm an attending physician working in the ICU, taking care of patients who are very sick. I'm very glad to share my experiences with you. Thank you. 

Xi Yanchun:

Thank you very much to all the experts. You're doing a great job because you're saving people's lives, competing against death. The floor is now open for questions. Please identify your news outlet before asking your question. Please raise your hands. OK, in the left area, the first line, the gentleman in the blue shirt, please.

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