China confirms absence of novel viruses or bacteria in recent infectious diseases

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Mi Feng

2nd December 2023 – (Beijing) China’s National Health Commission (NHC) has assured that the recent surge in acute respiratory diseases is due to recognised pathogens and not new infectious diseases caused by novel viruses or bacteria. The announcement was made by Mi Feng, a spokesperson for the NHC, at a press conference on Saturday.

The NHC’s statement comes amid concerns over the onset of the winter season, typically associated with a higher incidence of respiratory illnesses. The health commission’s comprehensive monitoring and assessment have not identified any new infectious agents, thus providing a degree of relief amid the global backdrop of ongoing pandemic vigilance.

Mi Feng elaborated on the Chinese health authorities’ proactive approach towards managing winter respiratory diseases. These include optimising the allocation of medical resources, improving treatment protocols, and leveraging the benefits of traditional Chinese medicine (TCM).

According to Mi, China plans to augment the provision of medical services, with special emphasis on paediatric outpatient services at all tiers of medical institutions. This includes TCM hospitals and maternal and child health facilities, to better cater to the population’s healthcare requirements.

In a significant move to enhance access to medical care, the expansion strategy involves extending outpatient service hours during lunchtime, evenings, and weekends based on patient numbers. Additionally, measures are in place to increase hospital bed capacity and streamline processes such as registration, examination, and payment.

The spokesperson also underscored the importance of ensuring a steady supply of medical provisions. This includes promoting the use of TCM and the integration of both Chinese and Western medicinal approaches as a part of a comprehensive strategy to prevent and treat common winter respiratory diseases. Such a holistic approach to healthcare is characteristic of China’s medical system, which often combines modern medical practices with traditional methods.