Shanghai doctor aiding Wuhan shares COVID-19 experience with overseas counterparts
Published: Mar 24, 2020 06:23 PM
Medics sent to Wuhan return to Shanghai. Photo: Yang Hui/GT

It's high time to share the effective measures that Chinese medical professionals have adopted in Wuhan and Hubei with the world, as epidemiologists warned the global battle against COVID-19 is just starting and cases outside China are expected to spike.

Chen Jinhong, a professor at Shanghai's prestigious Huashan Hospital, who served in the frontline Wuhan for 44 days, highlighted the effective strategies to curb the pandemic.

"With the treatment experiences gained in Wuhan, I'm ready to help fight the novel coronavirus outbreak in foreign countries so long as China, a responsible and powerful country, needs more experienced medical staff to do so. The virus recognizes no borders, only when the global community is united, can we effectively curb its spread," said Chen speaking exclusively to the Global Times. 

Chen added "the current situation in foreign countries is quite similar to that in China when COVID-19 outbreak first befell in Hubei. The infectious rate is very high at this stage." China's epidemic prevention and control measures induced the turning point in China's fight against the novel coronavirus when the authorities decided "to quarantine all the suspects and close contacts" and "treat all the confirmed patients."

Explicating the medical approach, Chen said, it is based on a diagnosis and treatment classification. The patients were classified into four categories, the suspected cases, patients with mild symptoms, patients with severe symptoms, and patients in critical condition, and accordingly treatment plans were enacted.

The suspected cases underwent quarantine. The mild patients were admitted to the makeshift fangcang hospitals for further diagnosis and treatment. The patients with severe symptoms were treated at the designated hospitals, and the critically ill ones were admitted to the ICU.

"It's an effective practice as the sources of infection are curbed to the biggest extent and the survival rate of the critical patients is increased, thus the fatality rate can be decreased. With both ends controlled, the whole pandemic prevention situation is under control," Chen stated.

"But based on the information I learned about the epidemic control measures in foreign countries, loopholes exist in the enforcement of government policy that triggered the worsening pandemic situation and escalating death toll."  

In medically well-developed countries, medical professionals can gather experience in treating severe and critical patients. But more efforts should be put in identifying and curbing suspected and mild cases so that source of infection can be contained. The general public and medical personnel should better protect themselves against the infection, or else there's a risk of transmitting the virus to others.