SCIO briefing on China's regular prevention and control of COVID-19

The State Council Information Office held a press conference Friday afternoon in Beijing on China's regular prevention and control of COVID-19. May 16, 2020

Hong Kong Economic Herald:

Since the outbreak of the pandemic, China has taken a series of effective medical treatment measures. Currently, as the pandemic continues to spread globally, are there any medical treatment experiences or achievements that can be shared? Thank you.

Zeng Yixin:

Ms. Guo will answer this question.

Guo Yanhong:

Thank you for the question. Regarding the medical treatment of COVID-19, we always stick to the goal of increasing hospital admission and recovery rates and lowering the rates of infections and fatalities. We also adhere to the principles of "early detection, reporting, isolation and treatment" and "pooling together patients, experts and resources for centralized treatment;" thereby improving the results of treatments. Our experience can be summarized in the following aspects:

First, we work to ensure early diagnosis and treatment. Pre-screening and separating patients are emphasized, and new fever clinics and observation wards have been set up to detect and isolate suspected cases in a timely manner. The diagnosis and treatment processes have been further standardized and optimized. We have also strengthened laboratory capacity and opened up qualified laboratories of medical institutions. At the same time, third-party testing institutions have been encouraged to provide testing services to maximize testing efficiency and ensure that cases can be detected, reported, isolated and treated at an early stage.

Second, medical resources have been expanded rapidly to ensure the admission and treatment of patients. Faced with a situation wherein cases increased rapidly, we expanded resources in the following three aspects in order to improve the admission and treatment of patients. First involved rapidly expanding hospital beds. Huoshenshan Hospital, Leishenshan Hospital and makeshift hospitals were built in a very short period of time. At the same time, some hospitals with a comprehensive capacity converted certain wards into intensive care units. In a short time, the number of beds in Wuhan, Hubei province, expanded to more than 41,000 beds, including more than 9,100 beds for critical cases. Second involved quickly bringing together health care workers. From the first batch of medical teams dispatched on New Year's Eve (January 24), the number of medical staff that went to support Wuhan mounted up to 42,000 in less than a month. Third involved quickly mobilizing medical materials and equipment, including protective supplies. By expanding resources in these three aspects, the patients were admitted and treated appropriately.

Third, diagnosis and treatment plans have been constantly optimized and improved. The diagnosis and treatment plans and guidelines are not only a summary of the new achievement of clinical research and practice, but also serve to guide medical treatment and improve the level of standardization of diagnosis and treatment. In this process, we have been constantly applying the results of clinical studies and technological innovations, selecting effective drugs and treatment methods and incorporating the diagnosis and treatment strategies of clinical practice into the protocols. We have updated the diagnosis and treatment plan to the 7th version, and this version has been translated into multiple languages to be shared across the world.

Fourth, we have pooled medical resources on treating critically ill patients. According to the principle of "pooling together patients, experts and resources for centralized treatment," we assigned the most professional medical staff to treat severe cases. In the treatment of these cases, we have combined preclinical medicine knowledge and clinical practice, frontline treatment experience and multidisciplinary studies, medical treatment and management as well as medical treatment and nursing — using a combination of traditional Chinese and Western medicine, in particular. When treating severe cases, we also emphasized admitting and treating mild cases to prevent their symptoms from progressing to severe. In this way, we increased the recovery rate and reduced the mortality rate.

Fifth, we strengthened management for the whole process of treatment. We set strict standards for discharging patients. After the discharge, a series of work procedures were also carried out, which included following up on the situation of patients, conducting psychological counseling and more; these procedures were performed in order to strengthen the overall management of patients and promote the full recovery of the patients both physically and mentally. Thank you.

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