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Opinion and Editorial

China has shown the way to fight the virus

Li Xuhang
Filed on May 22, 2020 | Last updated on May 22, 2020 at 11.46 am
Communities are the main battlefields for epidemic prevention and control


At this difficult time, all countries should join hands and work as one

As a developing country with a population of 1.4 billion, China successfully prevented and controlled Covid-19 in less than two months. The cumulative number of confirmed cases is just over 80,000, which is a lower figure compared with some western countries that have advanced medical care. While some are curious about this situation, others suspect that China covered up the data and hid the truth.

Actually, the truth is, as Chinese President Xi Jinping stressed at the World Health Assembly, "all along, we have acted with openness, transparency, and responsibility. We have provided information to the WHO (World Health Organization) and relevant countries in a most timely fashion." So, is there any "secret weapon" for China's successful fight against the pandemic? Yes, there are some "anti-pandemic secrets" with Chinese characteristics.

First, prevention and control at the community level has been the top priority. China believes that communities are the main battlefields for epidemic prevention and control. In China, 1.4 billion people responded to the government's request for staying at home. How did this happen? Besides the self-discipline of the huge population, the Chinese government at all levels as well as officials worked together to provide community management services simultaneously. Take Hubei, for instance. About 580,000 officials were sent to the communities in the province to take household surveys, test temperature, facilitate patient transfers, and material distribution. On one hand, they are confronted with the fight against Covid-19, and on the other, they tried their best to support and assist the residents with daily essential needs both material and psychological. In Wuhan alone, 45,000 officials showed up in more than 3,000 communities, 7,000 residential complexes, and 13,000 smaller units as chessboard patterns. It is worth mentioning that so many community workers and volunteers have become the backbone of the mission to defeat the virus at community level. There are nearly four million community workers in China fighting in 650,000 communities. On average, six workers cover one community. In other words, each will be responsible to take care of 350 people.

Second, field hospitals were immediately established to treat all patients requiring urgent care. In Wuhan, doctors classified patients into severe, mild, and suspected cases based on the their respective symptoms and then offered medical treatment. Division of labour helped. Some designated hospitals in Wuhan City, together with Huoshenshan as well as Leishenshan Hospital which were built within two weeks, focus on the treatment of severe cases. Field hospitals, 15 in total, are in charge of the treatment of mild cases. Building field hospitals was a pioneering initiative and it helped a large number of patients in receiving timely medical treatment and quarantine facility. Meanwhile, other designated hospitals mobilised resources and concentrated on the treatment of critical cases. To our delight, the spread of the virus was blocked, and the trend of the epidemic was thus reversed.

Third, traditional Chinese medicine (TCM) plays a significant role. TCM has shown efficacy in the treatment of Covid-19 patients and played an important role in combating the disease. TCM can effectively relieve symptoms, reduce the risk of cases with mild or moderate symptoms developing into severe cases, improve the cure rate, reduce the mortality rate, and promote the recovery of the patients. The services cover the entire process of prevention, treatment, and recovery. Among the confirmed cases of Covid-19 in China, more than 74,000 used TCM, representing 91.5 per cent of the total cases. The total rate of effectiveness of TCM amounts to 90 per cent. The Diagnosis and Treatment Protocol for Covid-19 released by the National Health Commission of China has detailed information on this. In the protocol, Qingfei Paidu decoction is highly recommended for the treatment of Covid-19.


All in all, there are many effective ways to fight the disease in China. As a responsible country, China does not 'hide' these 'unique skills'. As President Xi Jinping stressed at the World Health Assembly, "China has shared control and treatment experience with the world without reservation and has done everything in our capacity to support and assist countries in need". In fact, many countries have learned from China's experience to achieve positive results in the fight against the pandemic. The virus is our common enemy. At this difficult time, all countries should join hands and work as one, make concerted efforts to protect the lives and health of the people of the world, safeguard planet, our common home and build a global community of health for all.

Li Xuhang is Consul General of Chinese Consulate General in Dubai

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