BEIJING, Jan. 11, 2023 /PRNewswire/ — Traditional Chinese Medicine (TCM) has been playing an important role in China’s fight against COVID-19.
As China is shifting the focus of its COVID-19 response from preventing infections to protecting people’s health and preventing severe cases, the unique strength of TCM is further leveraged by health authorities to protect the life and health of the people.
On January 5, China issued the 10th version of diagnosis and treatment protocol for COVID-19, which fully reflects the valuable experience of using TCM in the treatment of severe and critical cases. The new protocol introduces targeted TCM treatments for severe cases, and puts forward relatively complete therapeutic TCM solutions for children.
The country has also developed a unique plan to treat COVID-19 epidemic by combining the use of both TCM and Western medicine for severe and critical patients.
Currently, the importance of TCM in the battle against coronavirus is mainly reflected in three aspects.
“First, intervention can be stratified for patients,” Huang Luqi, deputy head of the National Administration of Traditional Chinese Medicine, said on January 4 at a press conference. “Patients can choose proper TCM for home treatment to reduce the overloading risk and pressure on medical institutions and resources.”
Second, patients with mild and ordinary symptoms can depend on TCM as the leading treatment, Huang noted.
Third, TCM plays a part in recovery. After nucleic acid turns negative, many patients still undergo cough, fatigue, sweating and other symptoms.
“TCM can treat those symptoms and exert its function in overall regulation of the body as a whole,” Huang said.
China has been putting more and more effort to help patients in rural areas with TCM.
In Daming County, Handan City of north China’s Hebei Province, doctors are going to rural sites, providing free consultations and diagnosis to elderly villagers, and distributing free medicines, most of which are TCM and mixtures.
“I’ve got medicine here twice, and after taking the medicine, my family members are feeling better,” said resident Wang Aijiao.
“Our hospital and the fellow hospitals are sending doctors to villages twice a week,” said Yang Chenjuan, a doctor from the Daming Hospital of Traditional Chinese Medicine.
“We also provide them with free Chinese herbal medicines, herbs for foot baths and TCM fumigations, as well as offer more health advice,” Yang said.
TCM companies across the country are using advanced manufacturing processes to ensure adequate output of medicines, and refining and improving TCM theories and practices to contain diseases.
The production lines of pharmaceuticals company Zhendong Group are running 24 hours a day to make the medicine products for prevention of COVID-19.
“We have invested more in production of proprietary Chinese medicines with modern concepts, from the cultivation and storage of Chinese herbs to product development. This is an opportunity for us to give back to society,” said Li Anping, president of of the company.
TCM therapy still offers effective treatment against new COVID-19 variants.
“Current variants are all causing upper respiratory infections,” said Liu Qingquan, president of Beijing Hospital of Traditional Chinese Medicine, at a press conference on Monday, adding that the new variants spreading in other countries such as BQ.1 or XBB are not fundamentally different from the BA.5.2 and BF.7 which have been predominantly circulating in China.
“Our TCM therapy still works,” Liu said.