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

People's Daily:

Thank you very much. I am from the People's Daily English language app. As we all know, some countries are short of medical resources, so, the majority of patients with mild symptoms have to stay at home in isolation. My question is: which alarming signals should they heed to prevent dangerous escalation? Thank you. 

Xi Yanchun:

Dr. Cao, please. 

Cao Wei:

Thank you. First, if you have to stay at home in isolation because of other reasons, the first important thing is to identify or ensure that you are the right person who can accomplish this. This means you are not associated with identified risk factors of deterioration, such as elderly people, people with multiple comorbidities, including hypertension, diabetes, chronic lung diseases, or other chronic diseases. Secondly, if you are young and generally healthy, and you have decided to stay at home in isolation by yourself, then it is very important for you or one of your family members to keep a close eye on your symptoms or feelings. 

Once you begin to have a persistent high fever or when you begin to feel short of breath, or maybe you feel altered mental status, it is time for you to go to the doctor and seek help. The last and most important thing during your home isolation period is to make sure not to let your family members get the virus from you. There are multiple measures of prevention and protection for the family members, and you can get the full version from the WHO website. I'm sure. Thank you. 

Xi Yanchun:

Okay, next question. The lady in the middle area in the third row from South Korea. 

The Kyunghyang Shinmun:

Thank you. I'm a journalist from South Korean newspaper. The problem of COVID-19 infection by medical staff in Wuhan is a little bit serious. What protective measures are the medical staff taking? Please explain the local situation as a medical team. Thank you. 

Du Bin:

Thanks for your question. I do believe that my colleague Dr. Yan has already answered the question. But any way, I may add a few words that as Dr. Yan said that there are multiple reasons, multiple factors, contributing to the infection of COVID-19 in the health care workers, especially during the initial stage. 

One is the lack of knowledge that this is a human-to-human transmission disease. So you may know that a lot of health care workers have been infected in a couple of local hospitals in Wuhan, such as the Wuhan Central Hospital. This is the hospital that is located very close to the Huanan Seafood Market, that at the initial phase that many patients went there to see doctors, and the doctors didn't know. 

They didn't know that this is a human-to-human transmission disease. And the second important factor is the lack of personal protection equipment (PPEs), especially during the initial phase. And you can see that, as many external assistances came to Wuhan, as the supply of the PPEs became adequate, that as just mentioned by my colleague Dr. Yan, that no healthcare workers has been infected anymore. I mean during the second phase—if we can call it that. And another important lesson we learned is that, even within the same hospitals, some of the specialists—let's say, ENT doctors, and eye doctors—became easily infected, than their pulmonary colleagues, than their emergency colleagues, or their ICU colleagues. 

My personal interpretation is that, whenever you see an eye doctor or ENT doctor, he or she will have a very close contact with their patients, right? So that's the major reason for the phenomena that they got easily infected, in addition to the lack of knowledge of infectious diseases among these specialties. So, my belief is that it is important to let your colleagues—no matter what specialty they are—that they got educated, that they got trained about these infectious diseases, in order to prevent the nosocomial transmission of COVID-19. Thanks. 

Xi Yanchun:

Ok, next question, please. Middle area, second line. The gentleman. 

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