A traditional Chinese medicine shop. Photo: Bernama

KUALA LUMPUR: At least 95 per cent of Covid-19 patients treated using traditional Chinese medicine (TCM) in Hubei Province, China have recovered from the disease, says chief physician and vice-president of Guangdong Provincial Hospital of Traditional Chinese Medicine, Dr Li Jun.

Dr Li, who is leading seven other physicians from China on a mission to share experiences of fighting the Covid-19 outbreak in Malaysia, said the traditional Chinese medicine method was also used to curb the spread of Covid-19 in the region.

Sharing his experience in treating Covid-19 patients in China, he said he was constantly reviewing the effectiveness of various drugs, including the vaccine used to treat the Severe Acute Respiratory Syndrome (SARS) in 2003 and the Middle East respiratory syndrome coronavirus (MERS-CoV) in 2012.

“We initially expected these drugs to be effective as a result of the SARS and MERS-Cov outbreaks, but when used for Covid-19, they showed adverse effects in some patients.

“Although there is still no vaccine for Covid-19 but for now, traditional Chinese medicine is widely used to treat symptoms such as fever, cough and indigestion for patients in China.

“It can also reduce the use of respiratory machines as traditional medicine has been shown to boost the respiratory and digestive system of chronic Covid-19 patients,” he said during a live special Interview by Sin Chew Daily Pocket Times here.

Also present were associate chief physician of the Intensive Care Unit (ICU) at Guangdong Provincial People’s Hospital Dr Wen Miaoyun and associate chief technician in Virology and deputy director of the General Study Office of Guangdong Provincial Institute of Public Health, Dr Sun Jiufeng.

Dr Li said the experience on the effectiveness of TCM in treating Covid-19 patients also drew the attention of the Health Ministry in an effort to curb the epidemic in Malaysia.

“But the experience and the way we do it in China is only a guide to other countries and its implementation needs to be guided by the circumstances and needs of the country itself,” he said.

He said based on the team’s observation since Saturday, they found that the Malaysian government had taken appropriate and effective preventive measures.

“We have had dialogues with the Health Ministry, hospitals, research centres and several health departments and found that Malaysia has been able to successfully control the outbreak as it has in recent days shown a significant decline in positive cases.

“But to prevent another outbreak or recurrence, people need to work closely with the government in improving health checks, accelerate the quarantine process and treatment in addition to practicing good personal hygiene habits and social distancing,” he said.

Dr Li said at present, China has three teams that are testing vaccines and have entered the second phase of clinical trials.

“In order to produce a vaccine, it usually takes at least two years, but China is making every effort to accelerate the progress of vaccine research.

“The vaccine needs to be produced as soon as possible since it is a necessity that cannot be delayed because the virus is spreading rapidly in many countries around the world,” he said.

The Chinese medical team comprising eight specialists from China’s National Health Commission in Guangdong arrived in Malaysia on Saturday and will be in the country for two weeks to share experiences and expertise in the fight against Covid-19. – Bernama