Fang Min, president of Shuguang Hospital which is affiliated to Shanghai University of Traditional Chinese Medicine, said on Tuesday that traditional Chinese medicine (TCM) has played a positive role in Shanghai as it is has been used in the treatment of 98 percent of COVID-19 infections in the city and 21 million packages of TCM have been distributed to the communities across the city.
According to Fang, clinical data showed the unique advantages of TCM in accelerating the hospital discharges and in stopping the progression of the disease.
Based on the nation's recently updated diagnosis and treatment playbook for COVID-19, Shanghai's TCM experts committee and designated treatment hospitals have carried out clinical diagnosis and treatments combining the methodology of Shanghai's school of TCM, which are achieving good results.
Shanghai has dispatched several city and district-level TCM medical teams to designated hospitals and centralized quarantine sites.
In face of the highly transmissible Omicron variant, experts have proposed early use of TCM in fighting against the virus to intervene in advance and pay equal attention to prevention and treatment.
The report on the WHO Expert Meeting on Evaluation of Traditional Chinese Medicine in the Treatment of COVID-19 which was released by WHO on March 31, shows that in addition to routine treatment, the studied TCMs are beneficial in the treatment of COVID-19 patients, particularly in mild-to-moderate cases.
There are promising data to suggest that TCM is beneficial in reducing the risk of progression from mild-to-moderate, to severe cases. For mild-to-moderate cases, when administered as add-on interventions to conventional treatment, the studied TCMs may shorten the time for viral clearance, resolution of clinical symptoms and length of hospital stay compared to conventional treatments alone.
Early application of TCM may result in better clinical outcomes for patients with mild-to-moderate COVID-19 symptoms. For the general population, including high-risk groups, when the epidemic is severe, taking TCM medicines carries a good preventive effect.
Based on the current data, a city-wide prevention and intervention by TMC has been rolled out with a total of 21 million packages of TCM medicines being distributed, playing a positive role in establishing a barrier to stifle the pandemic's spreading.
Since early March, Shanghai has distributed TCM preventive medicines to quarantine sites and people in the key streets, towns, and communities.
While taking TCM,other TCM therapies including traditional Chinese acupuncture, massage and qigong (Chinese breathing exercise) etc., also play a role in strengthening the body, Gu said.