Traditional Chinese medicine plays vital role in Zhejiang’s epidemic prevention, control

By Li Zhongwen, Dou Hanyang, People’s Daily
Traditional Chinese medicine (TCM) is achieving great effects in treating the novel coronavirus pneumonia patients in China.
By Feb. 18, TCM had been applied to treat 1,136 confirmed cases, or 96.84 percent of the total in eastern China’s Zhejiang Province, among which 493 recovered, 523 improved conditions, and 120 were still in observation. The province’s hospitals had discharged 544 patients of the novel coronavirus pneumonia upon recovery, accounting for 46 percent of the total.
An 88-year-old patient of the novel coronavirus pneumonia was cured by Hangzhou Xixi Hospital, Zhejiang through TCM and discharged on Feb. 15. “This undoubtedly reinforced our confidence in TCM in treating the virus,” said Lin Shengyou, deputy head of the TCM expert team of Hangzhou and vice president of Hangzhou Hospital of TCM who also participated in the treatment for the 88-year-old.
The patient firstly received regular treatment in western medicine after being hospitalized, but the western anti-virus drugs were not bearable for him – a senior with chronic disease, introduced Lin. “After we carried out combined treatment of TCM and interferon nebulizer therapy, the patient started recovering rapidly,” he said.
Northern Zhejiang’s Huzhou also had a similar case. A 56-year-old patient who was once in critical conditions soon had her symptoms alleviated after TCM was introduced to her treatment. Her body temperature gradually fell to normal level and chest distress was relieved.
According to Ji Bing, head of Huzhou’s TCM expert team to combat the novel coronavirus and vice president of the TCM Hospital of Huzhou, TCM has been applied in the treatment for 10 confirmed cases in the city.
Zhejiang Province has carried out targeted TCM treatment, striving to make it play a comprehensive and in-depth role in the battle against the epidemic at an early stage. In addition, TCM has been applied to treat suspected patients in the province.
According to Xie Guojian, director of the TCM management bureau under Zhejiang’s health commission, TCM doctors in the province would join diagnosis before suspected cases are confirmed, and the patients would take Chinese medicines as early as possible. Based on the reports by local and provincial TCM experts, the early TCM treatment has obviously relieved patients’ symptoms such as fever and cough, Xie added.
On Jan. 24, flight TR188 that carried over 330 passengers landed at Hangzhou Xiaoshan International Airport. 219 passengers received herbal medicine for prevention from the city’s TCM hospitals. TCM was also introduced to passengers and crew members in quarantine.
When quarantine period ended on Feb. 8, none of the passengers or crew members was tested positive of the novel coronavirus. “It fully demonstrated the preventative effects of TCM on high-risk groups,” Xie noted.
Zhejiang’s TCM titans and experts have launched synergetic operation with experts in each city, and optimized recommended TCM treatment plans for four times according to national schemes, Zhejiang’s climate, geographical environment and characteristics of the infected cases in the province. Besides, they also regulated the practices of TCM prevention and treatment, as well as dos & don’ts for recovery.
At present, many hospitals in the province, apart from introducing TCM decoction, are also launching aromatherapy, acupuncture and Baduanjin exercise, a traditional aerobics form.
Now, Zhejiang is requesting those in close contact with the infected to take TCM for prevention, and suspected patients will also receive TCM treatment as early as possible. TCM doctors are required to join the whole treatment process in quarantine wards, and cured patients are also advised to take TCM for further recovery.

A patient of novel coronavirus pneumonia surnamed She bows to doctors before leaving hospital to express gratitude, Feb. 22, 2020. The 28-year-old woman was cured by People’s Hospital of Deqing County, Huzhou, east China’s Zhejiang Province. Photo by Xie Shangguo, People’s Daily Online

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