Answer Bank: How integrative medicine helps in COVID-19 treatment?
Updated 15:44, 02-Mar-2020
Zhang Ziyu

To date, there is no vaccine or specific medicine for novel coronavirus disease (COVID-19). But medics in China have found that integrative medicine could increase recovery rate and reduce fatalities effectively. 

China's National Health Commission prescribes the use of traditional Chinese medicine (TCM) alongside Western drugs in its guidelines for the treatment of infected people with the coronavirus. 

"Western medicine treatment is mainly based on fighting the virus and resisting infection. TCM is about giving every patient individualized treatment according to their symptoms," said Xia Wenguang, a senior doctor of Hubei Provincial Hospital of Integrated Chinese & Western Medicine. 

"By our observation, the related index of the immunologic function of integrated traditional Chinese and western medicine treatment unit is better than western medicine unit. The integrative treatment helps to protect the function of heart, liver and kidney," said Xia.

Experts from different hospitals said they have witnessed a higher recovery rate among those using both TCM and Western drugs, compared to just employing mainstream treatments. 

Integrated Chinese and Western medicine was evaluated as a safe and effective method by the World Health Organization(WHO) during the SARS (the severe acute respiratory syndrome) virus outbreak in 2003.  

According to the Wuhan local authorities, fever, nausea, cough and other patients' symptoms have shown relief after they were treated with integrative medicine. 

In Wuhan, the COVID-19 epicenter, there are over 11,000 confirmed patients in 16 temporary hospitals who have been using traditional Chinese medicines during the treatment. 85 per cent of patients in China had been given the combined treatment. 

While acknowledging that no vaccine or specific medicine has been invented currently, using integrated Chinese and Western medicine flexibly has a positive effect on the prevention and treatment of COVID-19.