Second Chinese medical team heads to Italy with TCM solutions for COVID-19

By GT staff reporters Source:Global Times Published: 2020/3/17 20:43:40

Group photo of a 12-member medical expert team from China to Italy Photo: Courtesy of Tongde Hospital of Zhejiang Province

China is sending the second medical team to Italy on Wednesday, which will bring traditional Chinese medicine (TCM) solutions to help the southern European country fight the COVID-19 pandemic.

The 12-member medical team from East China's Zhejiang Province will depart Shanghai for Milan, which is fighting one of the worst outbreaks in Italy right now. The team is being sent by the National Health Commission of China.

Confirmed cases of COVID-19 in Italy reached 24,747 on Monday, with 2,158 dead.

The team will bring medical supplies donated to Italy, including 60,000 test kits, ICU facilities, portable color ultrasound equipment, nine tons of protective materials, and medicines. 

Apart from experts on infectious disease, the team consists of two TCM doctors.

Hu Xu, a TCM doctor from Tongde Hospital in the medical team, told the Global Times that the hospital prepared TCM granules for use by 10,000 people, some for prevention and some for treatment of mild cases. They will also bring cow-bezoar bolus for resurrection of severe patients. 

"Local people in Italy look forward to TCM solutions, especially the Chinese there. TCM treatment could grasp the principles of the infectious disease," Hu said.

The team will stay two to four weeks in Italy. The region around Milan has big Chinese communities from Zhejiang Province.

"Our goals are to donate the supplies, to communicate with local experts and to serve local Chinese people," Hu said.

"Our visas were given very quickly through a green channel. China and Italy have made great efforts, and Italy really needs our experience," he said.

"Italy is like China at the beginning of the outbreak and lacks almost everything. So we are bringing many supplies, including test kits, protective suits and respirators," said Qiu Yunqing, deputy chief of the First Affiliated Hospital of Zhejiang University's College of Medicine, who serves as captain of the medical team, according to Zhejiang TV.

"We also bring experience in preventing and treating the COVID-19," he said before leaving. "We will return safely."

The medical team said they will share experience on COVID-19 prevention with local experts in Italy and offer help to local experts, the Chinese Embassy, Chinese enterprises, and overseas Chinese in Italy on preventing the virus.

A nine-member medical team from Southwest China's Sichuan Province arrived in Italy on March 13 to help confront the pandemic.


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