March 18, 2022
SHANGHAI – The new adjustments China has made to its protocols for diagnosing and treating COVID-19 based on clinical evidence will be key in the country’s fight against the pandemic, said Zhang Wenhong, team leader on Thursday. Shanghai COVID-19 treatment experts. .
A pilot edition of the ninth diagnostic and treatment guidelines for COVID-19 was released by the National Health Commission on Tuesday.
One of the main changes to the guidelines is the reduction of the isolation period for patients with COVID-19 who have been discharged from the hospital, said Zhang, who is also chief of the department of infectious diseases at the Shanghai Huashan Hospital.
Patients previously had to spend 14 days in a specific location after recovery. This was changed to seven days of home health monitoring.
“The general belief is that the longer the period of isolation, the greater the security. But science has shown that once the viral load is lowered to a certain level, the disease is no longer contagious,” Zhang said at a press conference on Shanghai’s response to COVID-19.
Another change relates to nucleic acid testing – the number of amplification cycles required for a sample to be detectable has been reduced from 40 to 35.
“This will allow for shorter hospitalization periods for COVID-19 patients. The average hospital stay in Shanghai is currently 15 days, and with this change, the length can be reduced to 10 days,” Zhang said.
“This will bring significant relief to quarantined patients and their families.”
Zhang noted that the guidelines also set standards for implementing procedures for triaging patients based on the severity of their condition. A stratified management system will also optimize the use of medical sources.
“We have three weapons in our fight against the pandemic: vaccination to its full extent, effective antiviral drugs and other medicines, and enough medical resources at hand,” he said.
“This renewed guidance is essential to our fight against COVID-19, and we look forward to the implementation of these changes.”
Authorities said the biggest surge of COVID-19 in China in two years is mainly due to the highly transmissible subvariant of Omicron, known as BA.2.
More than 20,000 infections have been reported in mainland China in this latest outbreak.