China updates COVID-19 diagnosis, treatment protocol

A medical worker collects data from residents who are about to take nucleic acid tests for COVID-19 in Hohhot, Inner Mongolia autonomous region. (WANG ZHENG / CHINA DAILY)

BEIJING – China released its 10th edition of the diagnosis and treatment protocol for COVID-19 on Friday.

The new protocol, jointly issued by the National Health Commission and the National Administration of Traditional Chinese Medicine, changed the Chinese term for COVID-19 from "novel coronavirus pneumonia" to "novel coronavirus infection."

The protocol no longer requires the identification of suspected cases, optimizes clinical classification, improves treatment methods, and adjusts hospital discharge standards

The protocol no longer requires the identification of suspected cases, optimizes clinical classification, improves treatment methods, and adjusts hospital discharge standards.

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According to the protocol, those infected with the virus can stay at home or seek medical attention at medical institutions. The quarantine of positive cases at designated venues no longer applies in the new protocol.

The protocol optimizes treatment methods targeting the currently prevalent COVID-19 variants. COVID-19 drugs approved by Chinese authorities for marketing are included in the new protocol. It emphasizes the philosophy of jointly treating COVID-19 infection and underlying health conditions, as well as improves content concerning the use of traditional Chinese medicine in treating the disease.

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The protocol does not require a nucleic acid test result when a patient recovers and leaves the hospital.