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China relies on regular drugs to fight COVID surge in Shanghai

SHANGHAI, April 6 (Reuters) – Shanghai is distributing to inhabitants tens of millions of boxes of conventional Chinese drugs (TCM), such as herbal products and flu capsules, which it states can deal with COVID-19 in the battle to manage its most significant virus outbreak.

China’s industrial funds, now under an prolonged lockdown, claimed more than 17,000 new COVID-19 infections on April 5, together with 311 symptomatic instances, amid a populace of additional than 26 million. browse extra

“Struggling with the very transmissible Omicron variant, we need to use TCM treatment method as shortly as achievable,” explained Fang Min, president of the city’s Shuguang Medical center.

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“For common general public, including higher-danger groups, having TCM cure when the epidemic is intense has excellent preventive impact,” he instructed a information briefing on Tuesday, incorporating that such therapies for a lot more than 21 million folks experienced been handed out.

A number of inhabitants advised Reuters they experienced obtained cost-free packing containers of about-the-counter flu medicine Lianhua Qingwen from neighbourhood committees in recent months. Others who caught COVID mentioned they received TCM medication to be dissolved in scorching h2o.

About 98% of Shanghai’s COVID-19 sufferers are taking TCM therapy, and teams of TCM employees have fanned out to specified hospitals and quarantine web-sites due to the fact the most current outbreak commenced in March, Fang said.

China’s wellness authority has proposed numerous TCM drugs and components, these as Lianhua Qingwen, for use by COVID-19 clients, despite the fact that a lack of responsible scientific information limits their use outdoors the state.

Singapore, which has a large ethnic Chinese population, reported in November there was no scientific evidence from randomised clinical trials that any natural solution, including Lianhua Qingwen, could be made use of to avoid or deal with COVID-19.

It encouraged the use of all natural products and solutions formulated for common chilly and flu only to deal with signs or symptoms such as complications, runny or blocked noses, sore throats and coughs.

In 2020, the U.S. regulator the Foods and Medicines Administration, warned suppliers of Lianhua Qingwen to prevent providing it as a COVID-19 remedy.

Officials in Shanghai’s district of Hongkou have distributed 722,000 boxes of Lianhua Qingwen capsules, and goal to give all inhabitants preventive TCM medications these as herbs and tea luggage, mentioned the Shanghai Everyday, which is owned by the neighborhood federal government.

Shijiazhuang Yiling Pharmaceutical (002603.SZ), the maker of Lianhua Qingwen, has explained a 2020 clinical trial showed that it could, alongside with traditional therapy, ease COVID-19 indicators this sort of as fever and cough.

China approved quite a few solutions such as Pfizer Inc’s (PFE.N) Paxlovid and Brii Biosciences Ltd’s (2137.HK) antibody-based mostly drugs to deal with COVID patients, but it is not very clear how broadly they are employed.

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Reporting by Brenda Goh and Roxanne Liu Composing by Miyoung Kim and Clarence Fernandez

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