Yu Yanhong Introducing TCM’s Participation in the Epidemic Prevention,Control and Treatment in a Press Conference Held by the State Council Information Office
The State Council Information Office held a press conference in Wuhan, Hubei at 4:00pm on Friday, March 6th, introducing the progress in prevention, control and treatment of COVID-19. Yu Yanhong, member of the central steering group,member of the Leading Party Members' Group of National Health Commission, Secretary of the LeadingPartyMembers'Group of the National Administration of Traditional Chinese Medicineattended the conference and answered questions from reporters.
Reporter with CNN: We noticed that the national diagnosis and treatment protocol，the official statements released by Chinese government and even the official media reports have strongly emphasized the efficacy of TCM in treating COVID-19, including the obvious curative effects of various TCM drugs, and even there are cases cured merely through TCM treatment. At the same time, experts from the World Health Organization mentioned in a press conference in Beijing last week that, there is only one drug right now that we think may have real effecacy, and that is Remdesivir from US. My questions are: Does China's position and views on TCM are contradictable tothose of WHO? What is the scientific basis of the Chinese side? Are the cases improved or discharged through TCM treatment the results of self-healing? Thank you.
Yu Yanhong: Thank you very much for your interest in the role TCM played in the prevention and control of the epidemic.The national diagnosis and treatment protocol is the joint effortof the wisdom of TCM and western medicine fighting the "epidemic", in which, TCM has a relatively important position. This is determined by sticking to the health workprinciple of attaching equal importance of TCM and western medicine, and the efficacy of TCM in treating COVID-19. Your question is most concerned aboutthe efficacy. I’ll elaborate it from three aspects.
First of all, TCM has unique theories and practice for containing plagues. In view of the fact that there werenotherapeutics and vaccines at the early stage of prevention and treatment of COVID-19, the practical experience and technical methods of TCM used to give full play to the overall regulation and improvement of immunity of human body, to stimulate itsimmune systemand recovery ability. It proved to be effective. In recent years, the efficacy of TCM has been proven in the fight against SARS and H1N1. As a famous TCM saying goes: “pathogenic factors are not able to work if healthy qi is sufficient in human body”.
Second, the fact that a large number of patients have been cured and discharged from hospital fully proves that the efficacy of integrated TCM and western medicine treatment is remarkable. At present, more than 50,000 confirmed patients have been discharged, and most of themused TCM. Expert teams’ research confirmed that compared with the exclusive medication ofTCM or western medicine, integrated TCM and western medicine treatment can improve symptoms such as fever, cough, fatigue more quickly, shorten the length of hospitalization, increase the rate of nucleic acidtestsconversing negative, and effectively reduce the progression of mild and moderate cases turning into severe ones, and severe cases turning into critical ones, thus increasing recovery rate and reduce mortality rate.
Let me givea few examples. For instance, for mild and moderate patients, a randomized controlled open trial of 452 patients shows that integrated TCM and western medicine treatment group is significantly better than exclusivewestern medicine treatment group in improving symptoms and increasing the rate of nucleic acid tests conversing negative. Another of clinical cohort study of 500 patients shows significant improvement in CT images of lungs, with no mild patients turning into severe ones. For severe patients, a clinical controlled trial of 75 patients shows that integrated TCM and western medicine treatment group, compared with exclusivewestern medicine treatment group, shortened nucleic acid tests conversing negative and hospitalization time by an average of 3 days. For critical patients, after joint consultation and syndrome differentiation of TCM and western medicine experts, their blood oxygen saturation improved and cytokine storms suppressed，showing that TCM played a positive role in treatment. National Health Commission and National Administration of Traditional Chinese Medicine have mobilized 12 steering groups consisting of expects dealing with severe cases to guild integrated TCM and western medicine treatment and promote in-depth integration, so to improve recovery rate and reduce mortality rate
Third, you mentioned just now that you noticed cases merely treated with TCM. Indeed, we have preliminarily summarized the treatment methods of nearly a hundred recovered patients, many of whom were severe patents. They wereall treated mainly with TCM.
We are still working on the case study and summaryright now.
In this epidemic prevention and control, General Secretary Xi Jinping has always emphasized that we must adhere to the principle of attaching equal importance of TCM and western medicine, integrating TCM treatment with western medicine treatment, and combining themedication of TCM and western medicine. We are willing to share the "Chinese experience" and "Chinese protocol" for the treatment of COVID-19 with other countries, so that more countries can get to know TCM, understand TCM and useit in treatment. In China, when the epidemic breaks out, we haveTCM treatment. As soon as TCM treatment is used, patents’ symptoms are immediately relieved, which further strengthens their confidence and courage to overcome the disease. Thank you for your question.
Reporter with Hubei TV:Could you explain to the public how to use TCM to treat COVID-19? What are the characteristics and advantages of TCM? Thank you.
Yu Yanhong:Good question. I have mentioned that TCM is different from western medicine when answering the last question. Using TCM to prevent and treat a communicable disease, doctors pay more attention to the immune system and the recovery ability of the body itself, to the holistic balance. This is why TCM could play the role in face of the communicable diseases with no identified pathology, no vaccine and no therapeutics, and provide a different prevention and treatment method.
When an epidemic breaks out, after symptoms collecting and clinical analysis, a TCM treatment could be identified and used in the clinical treatment. It is the advantage of TCM to give fast response. In the prevention and control of COVID-19, the early use of TCM helps to improve the symptoms quickly, hence strengthening the confidence and courage of the patients.
After the outbreak of COVID-19, the TCM experts, combining the selected classic formulas and the clinical experience, put forward quickly a TCM treatment protocol and optimized it continually. With the protocol, we adhere to the early use of TCM, its full-course intervention and precise implementation. TCM has played its role in the full course of prevention, treatment and rehabilitation.
For the mild and moderate cases, we use TCM as soon as possible. For the severe and critical cases, we exert a duplicate effect of both TCM and western medicine by joint consultation of TCM and western doctors and joint medication of TCM and western medicine. For the convalescent, we use TCM medication, acupuncture and moxibustion, massage, etc. to help with their recovery.
It is proven that the effectiveness of TCM to COVID-19 is clear. In the updated the National Diagnosis and Treatment Protocol of COVID-19 (Trial Version 7 ), a plenty of TCM methods are included, such as general formulas, formulas to different types of cases and different syndromes, and TCM drugs. It is a vivid practice of inheriting the essence and innovating while keeping the legacy, showing the unity of syndrome differentiation and disease identification, the unity of theory and clinical practice, the unity of guidance and standards. We are very willing to tell more about the TCM methods to the public, to share the treating experience in TCM with the international community. Thank you.
Translated by Zhao Hong，Xu Jing，Wu Sufang