Medical workers run intravenous drips for patients at the fever clinic of China-Japan Friendship hospital in Beijing on Dec 27, 2022. (WANG JING / CHINA DAILY)
BEIJING – As multiple regions in China are hit with surging COVID-19 infections, local hospitals are going all out to offer timely treatment, particularly for severe cases.
Many hospitals are actively allocating resources and adding beds while medical workers are working around the clock to treat severe cases and save lives.
In Harbin, capital of Northeast China's Heilongjiang province, the First Affiliated Hospital of Harbin Medical University has added intensive care beds and ventilators to cope with a surge in COVID-19 patients, even while struggling with staff shortages over infections.
"Many doctors continued working and caring for patients while they themselves were ill, and we are going all out to rescue every severe patient," said Yu Kaijiang, president of the hospital.
The First Affiliated Hospital of Harbin Medical University has set up a medical experts team to prevent severe cases from worsening into critically ill. It has already received over 140 critically ill COVID-19 patients over recent days
The hospital has set up a medical experts team to prevent severe cases from worsening into critically ill. It has already received over 140 critically ill COVID-19 patients over recent days.
In Taiyuan, capital of North China's Shanxi province, the ICU section of Shanxi Bethune Hospital has been running at full capacity. The hospital has increased the number of ICU beds from 30 to 54.
"We are not fighting alone. With the support of the whole hospital, we would surely get through the difficult times," said Wu Wenjing, head nurse of the hospital's ICU department.
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As the number of severe COVID-19 patients rose, hospitals in Beijing have also done their best to increase beds, better allocate medical resources, and have even carried out training on rescuing severe patients to ensure that every severe patient could receive timely treatment.
Early diagnosis and treatment of patients at risk of developing severe conditions are important, said Du Bin, vice-president of Peking Union Medical College Hospital. The intensive care resources should be used on those who badly need them so as to better protect the health and lives of the people, Du said.
After China actively adapted to changes and fine-tuned its COVID-19 response, the focus of the country's response shifted from infection prevention to medical treatment.
"The current focus of the response has shifted from infection prevention to medical treatment," said Liang Wannian, head of the COVID-19 response expert panel under the National Health Commission, adding that the utmost efforts will be made to prevent severe cases and fatalities.
Jiao Yahui, an official with the National Health Commission, said many provinces experiencing surges in severe patients are further expanding designated hospitals and adding intensive care resources at second-grade and third-grade hospitals to try to meet the demand for more severe patients.
In Beijing, local health authorities have also opened fever clinics at makeshift hospitals, stadiums, and exhibition centers to offer medications for COVID-19 patients amid efforts to alleviate pressure on medical institutions.
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In Yanshou county in Harbin, local authorities have beefed up health monitoring over high-risk groups, including the elderly and those with underlying health conditions.
The risk of severe illness can be detected timely, and severe patients can be then rushed to third-grade hospitals for better treatment, said Sun Wanxin, deputy president of the Yanshou County People's Hospital.