Chinese, Irish medical experts exchange experience on COVID-19 via video conference, build synergy in pandemic response

By Jiang Nan, People’s Daily Online
A teleconference was held on March 13 at the Second Affiliated Hospital, Zhejiang University School of Medicine (SAHZU) for Chinese and Irish medical workers to share experience of the prevention and treatment of COVID-19.
The teleconference, spanning nearly 9,000 kilometers, was a response to Oisin O’Connell, a consultant in Bon Secours Hospital Cork[SWY1] , who emailed the SAHZU days earlier asking for China’s experiences in pandemic response.
Medical experts with the SAHZU, the hospital’s medical workers fighting COVID-19 in Wuhan, the former epicenter of COVID-19, as well as 30 some experts from Irish medical institutions and colleges joined the teleconference.
The Irish side raised a series of questions of their greatest concerns, such as the organization of manpower and resources, the rapid training of medical personnel, medication and short supply of medical materials. All the questions were answered in detail by SAHZU experts, who also shared with their Irish counterparts the Chinese schemes and Zhejiang’s experience in coping with the disease.
The influence of the conference even extended beyond Ireland’s borders. David Garry, a doctor with the Intensive Care Unit at UK’s Oxford University Hospitals, asked to join in the meeting after he learnt about it. He heard the conference together with his colleagues at his hospital.
At the end of the two-hour experience exchange, the Irish experts extended their gratitude to the Chinese side, saying the Chinese experience is very valuable.
“We’ll do our best to help our Irish friends combat the crisis together, as long as you need us,” SAHZU president Wang Jian’an replied.
A few days later, the SAHZU received another invitation from Ireland. Deirdre McCarthy, News Managing Editor, Radio News Programmes and Regions of Ireland’s National Television and Radio Broadcaster Radio Telefís Éireann, said she wanted to make a TV show to introduce China’s experience in containing the virus to the Irish public.
Therefore, a second teleconference started on March 20, joined by not only medical experts, but also several citizens from Hangzhou, capital of Zhejiang province.
Xu Xueying, a professor at the School of International Studies of Zhejiang University shared her story during the quarantine. “I spent my time at home baking, doing exercise and reading in the past two months. I also followed closely the latest official release on the disease, which was transparent and open,” she said, adding that the Hangzhou citizens were concerned, but not panicked.
Medical and health institutions in Zhejiang province contributed to the efforts of their foreign counterparts in fighting the pandemic. Likewise, cities and counties of the province also donated materials to and offered technical support to foreign countries, sister cities, friendly organizations and overseas Chinese of Zhejiang origin, carrying out international cooperation in multiple forms.
So far, the province has donated 152 batches of medical materials to sister cities in 45 countries, friendly organizations and institutions, as well as foreign missions stationed in China, including about 5.1 million pieces of masks, 68,000 protective suits, and 455,000 pairs of surgical gloves.
Besides, it also donated about 5.49 million pieces of masks and 12,000 protective totaling 36 million yuan ($5.09 million) to overseas Chinese.

Medical experts having fought COVID-19 on the frontline in Hubei province exchange experiences on COVID-19 treatment, prevention and control with their Mexican counterparts via video link in a teleconference room of Hangzhou Red Cross Hospital, east China’s Zhejiang province, April 3. (Photo by Long Wei, People’s Daily Online)

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