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February 18, 2020

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Coronavirus recovery rate in Shanghai reaches 50%

THE local recovery rate for novel coronavirus pneumonia has reached nearly 50 percent, experts announced yesterday.

So far, 161 of 332 coronavirus patients in Shanghai have been discharged, according to the Shanghai Health Commission. One new infection case was reported yesterday morning.

Lu Hongzhou, a professor at the Shanghai Public Health Clinical Center, a designated hospital for coronavirus patients, said treatment has been multidisciplinary, a combination of Chinese and Western medicine and “one person, one treatment.”

The multidisciplinary team consists of doctors from the intensive care, extracorporeal-membrane-oxygenation, continuous renal replacement therapy, respiratory therapy and mental health groups, Lu said.

“The best local medical resources come together in the Shanghai Public Health Clinical Center,” he said. 

Lu added that traditional Chinese medicine has had a positive affect on infection treatment.

“Almost all the current coronavirus patients in our hospital have received traditional Chinese medicine treatment,” said Lu. “The traditional approaches have their own advantages.”

He said two patients who had high fevers and suffered from constipation and abdominal distension improved after enema therapy, a traditional Chinese medicine treatment.

Shanghai Daily visited a three-story inpatient building called A2, which has not yet been used. It can house 84 patients while another three inpatient buildings — A1, A3 and A4 — can hold 96, 57 and 90 patients respectively. 

All the hospital’s 327 wards are under negative pressure that helps prevent cross-contamination from room to room.

“The fresh air flows into the room,” said Lu, pointing at an air outlet on the ceiling of a ward. “The air that a patient breathes out will be filtered through an apparatus with a membrane. Once a patient is discharged, the membrane will be burnt.”

Lu said medical staff in close contact with coronavirus patients wear positive pressure respirators. The equipment provides a safe supply of air in the contaminated environment.

The wards’ walls and floors, each with two beds and a bathroom, are smooth, seamless and corrosion resistant, making them easy to clean and sterilize.

Each floor consists of three areas: a clean area, buffer zone and restricted area. Moreover, each area has its own elevator.

The clean area has a tea room, storage room and several offices equipped with computers and air purifiers.

Before entering wards, medical staff must wash their hands and wear protective suits, gloves, shoe covers, face masks and goggles.

After leaving a restricted area, they remove and discard the protective equipment and take a shower.

“The medical waste gets carefully disposed and treated here,” said Lu. “We sterilize the waste, seal the biohazard disposal bag and use the waste incinerator in our hospital to burn them.”

To accommodate more patients, the clinical center is expanding to make another 200 beds available.


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