China was the first country to battle COVID-19. Although they initially struggled to control the spread of the virus, within 45 days, they have reduced the number of new cases per day from over 3,800 to near 0.
The travel ban out of Wuhan was officially lifted on March 25th, 2020. China’s decisive actions were praised by the WHO, which sent a team of experts to Wuhan to evaluate the situation. This team was led by Dr. Bruce Aylward, a Canadian physician.
Based on the lessons learned from treating SARS and H1N1, TCM has played an important role in the prevention and treatment of COVID-19 from the very beginning, and it has been an integral part of the Chinese official treatment guidelines from the 1st edition to the most recent 7th edition As a TCM practitioner for over 35 years, I believe TCM could play the following roles in Quebec and/or Canada:
- Provide herbal medicine to healthcare professionals and vulnerable populations (i.e. elderly, immunocompromised, etc.) to reduce the risk of infection, as a preventive measure;
- Treat asymptomatic patients to reduce their risk of infecting others;
- Treat mild cases to accelerate recovery and reduce the evolution to severe and critical cases;
- Assist in the treatment of severe and critical cases to gain time for treatment and to reduce mortality.
COVID-19 has already become a pandemic, so any action must be undertaken at the federal and provincial level to have a significant impact. Here is the plan we propose:
- Pass on relevant information to decisionmakers in the provincial and federal government;
- Change the existing legal framework to allow the participation of TCM in the fight against COVID-19;
- Collect relevant information and conduct small-scale clinical studies and evaluations;
- Contact the Chinese government via diplomatic channels to ask them to send TCM experts specialized in the treatment of COVID-19 and herbal medicine to Canada;
However, any claims of treating and preventing COVID-19 with TCM is banned by Health Canada as of April 12th, 2020. With no vaccine and effective medication in sight, we need all the help we can get in the fight against COVID-19. We have a lot to learn from China and we need to learn very urgently, as dozens of Canadians are dying daily. It might also be a good idea to ask for help from Shanghai directly. Shanghai and Montreal are sister cities. In the past, Dr. Norman Bethune, a Canadian physician who worked at Montreal’s Royal Victoria Hospital, provided valuable help to China during the Sino-Japanese War and consequently died there. China has always been immensely grateful for his sacrifice and Chairman Mao wrote an obituary for him. As a result, most Chinese officials and laypeople still have a positive impression of Canadians to this day. Therefore, I believe we have a good chance of receiving their help.
Please read the documents below. Feel free to forward relevant information to your local public health officials, parliamentarians, or anyone you believe may benefit from it.