SCIO briefing on scientific research into COVID-19

The State Council Information Office held a press conference on April 27 in Beijing to brief the media about scientific research into COVID-19. April 29, 2020


China now has a good bit of experience facing the pandemic. Many Russians wonder whether we should wear face masks or stay at home, and which major methods do Chinese experts think can be adopted for COVID-19 treatment? Thanks. 

Wang Guiqiang:

Thanks. I will take your questions first. It's very important to wear face masks. At first, there was some misunderstanding that wearing masks did not reduce the incidence of respiratory infections. However, China's experience has proven that wearing them is definitely effective. We knew that those asymptomatic carriers would be a key source of infection and lead to transmission of the virus if they didn't wear masks. There were many such cases in China at the very beginning. It is therefore crucial to wear a mask. Currently, China is taking regular pandemic prevention and control measures. Just as Mr. Jin mentioned, we are now working against imported COVID-19 cases and a rebound in domestic cases. Under current conditions, China has effectively controlled the outbreak. However, we still emphasize that people need to wear masks in public places. Unless in large squares or parks, you may be allowed to take off the masks, but you still have to wear masks at small-space gatherings. As previously mentioned, there are still some imported cases in China, and a very small number of individuals have even shown a relatively long incubation period of the virus. Hence, China still attaches importance to wearing masks, and so do other pandemic-affected areas, in particular. In this way, patients will prevent the transmission of the virus, and healthy people will protect themselves from being infected. The Chinese University of Hong Kong has carried out research on this aspect, and the results show that wearing a mask can effectively curb viral spread via droplets. Therefore, it's one of the most effective measures to prevent the spread of COVID-19. Of course, we also emphasize hand hygiene and ventilation, among other preventive measures, which are very important too. 

Your second question concerns China's treatment experience. It's true that since the outbreak began, we have launched plans for diagnosis and treatment and continually revised them. Within around two months, we have come up with seven versions of treatment plans. This timeliness shows that we are continuing to adjust with real-time diagnostic and treatment strategies, especially treatment plans, according to our latest evidence and experience. At the very beginning, we didn't know which drugs worked, so we looked at the treatment of SARS and MERS for reference, and we recommended some medications that were already on the market, including Kaletra, interferon and others. With the increasing data, more drugs were later included, such as chloroquine phosphate. And then came the use of more technologies, including stem cell therapy, convalescent plasma therapy and blood purification treatment. All of these are based on our continuous understanding of COVID-19. The mortality rate of the disease is relatively high among the elderly and those who have underlying health conditions, so we also put emphasis on effective strategies, such as oxygen therapy, standard ventilation treatment and multi-disciplinary cooperation. Chloroquine phosphate is a distinctive treatment method. Objectively speaking, we are still recommending the use of chloroquine phosphate. Base on the initial data ranging from the experience at the cellular level to preliminary clinical studies, we have seen the certain efficacy of chloroquine phosphate. The drug has been sold on the market for many years, and we are relatively confident in its safety. Of course, we should also pay attention to its side effects and make risk evaluations on the elderly and those who have underlying health conditions. However, considering that there are no specific drugs yet, it can be recommended for use. 

In addition, convalescent plasma therapy has shown clinical efficacy against COVID-19. We have collected plasma from almost a thousand convalescent COVID-19 patients and offered the therapy for more than 800 patients. It has proved effective. What's more, for the first time Chinese researchers have conducted clinical studies on the use of stem cell technology in the treatment of COVID-19 cases. More than 200 critically ill patients in Wuhan have received stem cell treatment, which has shown apparent efficacy. Now we are summarizing the results. These preliminary studies can serve as a reference for other countries. We still need to accumulate more evidence and more carefully analyze our previous studies. We hope we can publish these studies so as to provide more experience and references that other countries can use when diagnosing and treating COVID-19.

Yan Jinghua:

Convalescent plasma therapy, which Mr. Wang explained, has proved effective in China. There is actually another therapy, which has not yet been put into clinical use. You might have noticed that many international companies, such as Pfizer, are developing COVID-19 monoclonal antibodies, which, compared to plasma, are easier to produce and have clearer targets. Researchers of the Chinese Academy of Sciences are also carrying out similar studies. The results of animal testing have been positive, and the treatment has proved safe from a toxicological perspective. As a result, large companies worldwide will probably work on monoclonal antibody therapy. It provides a good direction for treating COVID-19 before we have a vaccine. Thank you.

<  1  2  3  4  5  6  7  8  9  10  11  12  >  

Print E-mail Bookmark and Share