Ma Xiaowei: Integrating TCM and Western Medicine in Clinical Treatment and Involving TCM in the Whole Process of Prevention, Diagnosis, Treatment and Rehabilitation

The State Council Information Office held a press conference on the progress of the epidemic prevention and control and medical treatment in Wuhan, Hubei, at 4 pm on March 31. Ma Xiaowei, a member of the Central Steering Group and Minister of the National Health Commission, attended the press conference and made multiple mentions of Traditional Chinese Medicine.

Good afternoon! Since the outbreak of the COVD-19 epidemic, the CPC Central Committee with Comrade Xi Jinping at its core has always put the safety and health of the people first. General Secretary Xi Jinping personally deployed, instructed, and led the struggle. Since it was stationed in Wuhan on January 27, the Central Steering Group has comprehensively and effectively guided, organized, and promoted Hubei Province to strengthen prevention and control work, grasping the two keys of patient treatment and community prevention and control to curb the increase, to reduce the stock, and to control variables from both  prevention and treatment. After hard work, the spread of the local epidemic in the country with Wuhan as the main battlefield has been basically blocked, and important progress of epidemic prevention and control has been achieved.

The Central Steering Group has always put patient care as the top priority, and has made special deployments on medical team selection, increase of hospital beds, treatment for critical and mild cases, TCM intervention, rehabilitation, discharged patient monitoring and management, and nosocomial infection control. Starting from two aspects of management and treatment, all the difficulties have been solved one after another. As of today, over 63,000 patients have been cured in Hubei, with the recovery rate exceeding 93%.

In terms of hospital management, more than 42,600 outstanding medical workers have been mobilized from hospitals of the National Health Commission, various provinces and the PLA to form more than 340 medical teams to support Hubei, bringing equipment and supplies with them. Among them, there are more than 15,000 professionals in intensive care, infectious disease, respiratory disease, circulation and anesthesia. In ten provinces, 20% of their ICU professionals were sent to Hubei. It is fair to say that all the best medical workers are deployed to Hubei.

The Central Steering Group refined the management to match the treatment capacity with the task and difficulty of treatment. Decisive measures were taken to set up makeshift hospitals and designated hospitals, to speed up the entire hospital conversion, to expand medical resources through multiple channels, so as to withstand the surge in diagnosis and treatment during the outbreak. The models were adopted that a national medical team took over a whole hospital and pairing assistance from a hospital or a province took over a department. Joint medical service departments, nursing departments and infection control departments were established. National, provincial and municipal joint expert groups were set up to implement the 5 routines of daily evaluation of patients, consultation on complicated cases, regular visits, holistic care, and discussion of death cases. Severn versions of the diagnosis and treatment protocol, three versions of the critical case diagnosis and treatment protocol were developed to achieve quality and standardized treatment.

Five combinations were adopted to enhance the targeted, innovative and holistic clinical treatment.

First, combining basic medical science and clinical practice. More targeted treating methods were given according to the organ lesions shown in the pathological and anatomical results. With the main clinical problems identified, more attentions were given to the early detection of severe cases, the early invasive ventilation, the early oxygen supply, the early supportive therapy, the early anticoagulant therapy, and the multiple-organ protection, which guaranteed the early, precise, targeted treatment.

Second, combining the frontline treatment and the back-up from the other areas. We made good use of the resources from the other areas and carried out multi-disciplinary consultations through information techniques, which gave the comprehensive guidance for the timing, methods and dosages of the treatment.

Third, combining treatment and medical care. Special attentions were given to the basic care, intensive care, specialist care, psychological care, which helped with the early detection of the medical change. We also paid attention to the detailed and tailored medical care.

Fourth, combining treatment and management. Joint diagnosis and treatment management systems and effective operation mechanisms were set up, which laid a good system guarantee from the treatment.

Fifth, combining TCM and western medicine. We reinforced the TCM should be in-depth involved in the whole process of prevention, diagnosis, treatment and rehabilitation.

In addition, we also paid special attention to the treatment of the severe cases by reduce the viral load and block the progression from mild to severe disease. Infection control measures were so strictly implemented that no one of the over 40,000 medical worker from other areas was infected by the virus. It is very satisfactory.

In the aspect of epidemic control, the Central Steering Group took the epidemic development in good control, and adjusted the priority and the responding measures according to the changes. About 1,000 experienced workers of public health, community health and examination department were selected across the country to join the Hubei disease control workforce. Vice Premier Sun Chunlan coordinated the screening in all the grassroots communities in person. Over 6,000 confirmed and suspected cases were detected and hospitalized, which played a decisive role for the containment of the epidemic and blocked the spread of the virus in the communities.

Taking the nucleic acid test as an importance point, we managed to increase the testing capacity from 300 to 35,000 per day, the feedback duration from 6 days to 4-6 hours. We achieved the goal of testing all those should be tested and finish what should be done each day. All the communities and villages were in lockdown. Measures were taking to clean and disinfect the environment and to distribute the protection information. On the basis of much practice, the disease control workers revised the prevention and control guidance. The characterized Chinese experience could summarized as follows: to form three defenses of community containment, fever clinic and face in face epidemic investigation; to observe three deadlines to report online in two hours, test in twelve hours and finish an epidemic investigation in twenty-four hours; to do prevention and control of the epidemic in key areas, key places and key population; to conduct approaches of early detection, early report, early isolation, early treatment; to take confirmed and suspected patients, febrile population and close contacts in good control; to achieved the goad of hospitalizing, treating, testing and isolating all those who deserve these measures; to implement five persons (a town leader, a village leader sent by the superior level, a village leader, a CPC party member and a medical worker) responsibility in community transmission containment, to distribute kits of five tools (a booklet, a mask, a thermometer, a temperature chart and a pen); to fully implement the five jobs of screening, containment, supervision, information distribution and good care. We persisted in all these requirements, which helped us to take the prevention and control in good control.

At present, the pandemic is spreading rapidly overseas. We must focus on "control of imported cases from outside and prevention of bounce-up inside" in accordance with the central government's requirements. We shall keep our caution to prevent and control the domestic epidemic, and adhere to the effective and tailored prevention and control measures in each household and individual. We shall also give top priority to medical treatment, since there are still nearly 1,500 cases in Hubei. Among them, severe and critical cases account for more than 1/3, posing great difficulty in treatment. The medical workers shall go all out to carry out medical treatment. As long as there is hope, we must make every effort to save every life. Tailored and effective response measures must be taken to manage imported cases from overseas. A chain of strategies should be taken to protect our country and our family. We should strengthen in-depth detection of each imported case and isolate any single case ever detected. We will never allow for a reverse of the hard-won positive trend of epidemic prevention and control.

Finally, I would like to say that in this great fight against the epidemic, health care workers braving the plague in their white armor underwent a comprehensive inspection in terms of organizational management, professional skills and medical ethics. They have proven to be a team with firm political beliefs, excellent expertise, and noble medical ethics, which the Party and the people can fully trust. During the withdrawal of the medical teams, the Party and the people have given extremely high courtesy, and the medical teams have deeply felt the deep affection of Hubei people. Under the strong leadership of the CPC Central Committee, the national health system will maintain our caution in our hard work to prevent and control the epidemic and to win the final overall victory in the fight against the epidemic. Thank you!