Shanghai promotes TCM in COVID-19 prevention to tackle highly-infectious Delta variant
Published: Aug 29, 2021 10:04 PM
TCM Photo: VCG

TCM Photo: VCG

Traditional Chinese medicine (TCM) has been included in the epidemic prevention and control system of COVID-19 in Shanghai in addition to vaccination to deal with the Delta variant, which has been identified as inducing the recent epidemic flare-ups across the country. 

The Guidelines for the Prevention of Exogenous infections (Respiratory Infectious Diseases) by Traditional Chinese Medicine (Summer Version) worked out by Shanghai Society of Traditional Chinese Medicine and Shuguang Hospital affiliated to Shanghai University of Traditional Chinese Medicine include integrated medicine, TCM health care and a guidance of living habits to constitute a comprehensive prevention program of COVID-19. 

Prevention of COVID-19 using TCM was put forward as all the recent Delta-induced surges constituted of "breakthrough" cases among fully-vaccinated people, Zhang Wei, member of the Shanghai team of experts in preventing COVID-19 cases with TCM as well as doctor from Shuguang Hospital, told the Global Times on Sunday. 

Concerning the strong infection of the Delta variant and high viral load in patients infected with it, TCM experts in Shanghai worked out the guidelines based on their experience in TCM treatment, which has proven effective in reducing the incidence rate of the disease and speeding up the recovery of patients through its early intervention to the whole process. 

According to Zhang, the guidelines were worked out on the basis of the existing TCM prevention program of influenza in Shanghai and will be adjusted according to different seasons. 

The guidelines specify specific prescriptions for different population groups such as ordinary people, senior citizens, chronic disease patients, close contacts of infections, vulnerable people and children, to improve the comprehensive prevention effects. 

It is noteworthy that TCM external therapies such as, auricular acupoint plaster therapy, acupoint massage, fumigation and steaming therapy and TCM sachets are also included in the guidelines. 

According to Zhang, the guidelines will be promoted in local communities as well as among key populations such as medical workers. 

Between August 2 and 26, Shanghai contained three epidemic surges with 10 local infections coming from Pudong New Area and Songjiang district, all induced by the Delta variant. 

The contribution of TCM, which has been included in the city's "four earlies" (early discovery, early report, early quarantine and early treatment) for epidemic prevention and control, cannot be left unrecognized. 

According to Zhang, the TCM prevention guidelines released in early August are currently being practiced among medical workers at the Songjiang District Central Hospital where a nurse was discovered to have contracted the Delta variant on August 18

TCM treatment has been used on all patients with light symptoms while severe cases have prescriptions according to their specific conditions, Zhang noted. So far, imported ethnic Chinese patients have all been prescribed with TCM while over 30 percent of imported cases involving those with foreign nationalities have been treated with TCM.