'Integrated treatment helped COVID-19 patients recover'

Integrated treatment of western and traditional Chinese medicine helped most COVID-19 patients recover: Report

A woman wears a mask as a preventive measure against the COVID-19 coronavirus as she crosses a road in Beijing on March 9, 2020. Credit: AFP Photo

 An integrated treatment of western drugs and traditional Chinese medicine (TCM) has helped most of the over 50,000 coronavirus patients in China to recover from the deadly disease, a Chinese expert medical team said on Monday.

Compared with those only treated with TCM or western medicine, the expert team confirmed that the integrated treatment of both the medicines can more quickly control COVID-19 symptoms such as fever, cough and fatigue.

The treatment effectively reduced the chances of mild and regular symptoms developing into severe or critical ones, so as to improve the recovery rate and reduce the mortality rate in coronavirus, state-run Xinhua news agency reported.

The death toll in China due to the deadly virus rose to 3,119, while the confirmed cases climbed to 80,735, the country's National Health Commission (NHC) said.

A total of 58,600 patients have been discharged from hospitals after recovery, the NHC said.

Since coronavirus first came to light, doctors in China and the world scrambled to find a vaccine to cure the disease, the report said.

On March 6, Xinhua quoted Chinese medics saying that they found good success rate in treating coronavirus patients with some of the drugs on trials.

Chinese doctors said Tocilizumab, with the common brand name Actemra, has been included in China's latest version of diagnosis and treatment guidelines on COVID-19.

Zhou Qi, deputy secretary-general and an academician of the Chinese Academy of Sciences told media here on Friday that the drug Tocilizumab has been found effective to block the inducement of the inflammatory storm.

Yu Yanhong, deputy head of the National Administration of Traditional Chinese Medicine, told a press conference here on Monday that the combination of TCM and western medicine in COVID-19 treatment has been proved effective by the huge number of recovered patients.

According to the official data, TCM has been used in the treatment of 74,603 confirmed COVID-19 cases nationwide, accounting for 92.5 percent of the total, Xinhua report said.

TCM treatment focuses on improving the body's natural defences against an epidemic and its own ability to repair itself while maintaining the overall balance, Yu said.

TCM clinical treatment is personalised and targeted based on the differences in geography, climate and a patient's physical condition, said Zeng Yixin, deputy director of the National Health Commission.

A circular issued by the commission also encouraged the promotion of effective TCM treatment plans at the community-level epidemic prevention and control.