Muhammad Asif Noor

WHO published a report prepared by its Expert Meeting on the evaluation of Traditional Chinese Medicine (TCM) in the treatment of Covid-19.

This report acknowledges the safety and efficacy of the TCM against the coronavirus and encourages the WHO member states to integrate TCM research in their respective planning and implementation of Covid vaccines.

It reflects the Chinese potential to develop quick and innovative means to respond to global calamities with its advancement in the field of medicine.

TCM is an alternative and thousands of years old preventive, diagnoses, and disease treatment methods. The main idea behind this treatment is based on the belief that Qi (the body’s vital energy) and the TCM help to restore balance through acupuncture, diet, meditation, physical exercise, massages, and herbal therapy are a few of the examples of the TCM. TCM is also called oriental medicine.

Since the outbreak of the COVID-19 pandemic, TCM has been central to virus prevention worldwide. After testing its results, China began the vaccinations as soon as it was developed, administering the doses to Chinese people and donating to the world.

Technically, TCM is a specialized medication that reduces mild to moderate disease progression risks while preventing severe symptoms. When TCM is used as add-on-interventions and conventional treatment, it reduces the timespan for viral clearance.

The unique ways of TCM further resolved clinical symptoms and the necessity to stay at the hospital compared to any conventional treatment. It is further reported that the use of TCM at early stages further boosts the recovery and immunity against mild to moderate symptoms of Covid-19.

The traditional way of making medicine in China is different from conventional and modern ways, and TCM performs better with moderate symptoms. It is a valuable addition to the stockpiling of vaccines due to the rising global pandemic, and China stepped forward to be the largest supplier of TCM globally.

China has shared this experience, diagnosis, and treatment process with more than 150 countries, dispatched TCM experts to 29 countries for pandemic control and supplied TCM. China celebrated this success in the face of the pandemic by organizing a ‘Forum on TCM and International Cooperation to Fight Against COVID-19 Pandemic.’ The forum was participated by representatives of 28 countries and WHO officials online for an in-depth exchange of knowledge. During this forum, the role of government in policy guidelines and appreciating health experts were highlighted.

In addition, the gathering announced to start off an Initiative on Supporting the Application of TCM in the Global Fight Against Covid-19. To this end, China developed a comprehensive plan to distribute the TCM under the umbrella of BRI for five years, 2021-to 2025.

Since pandemic is closely linked with development and growth, China has decided to propose the inclusion of TCM development in the upcoming 14th Five Year Plan. China plans to build at least 30 centers overseas for TCM research and development to help the host states fight against the pandemic.

It should be noted that China has been the frontline state in the global fight against the pandemic, the first to develop the vaccine and distribute vaccines and testing kits worldwide. China has also been sharing its experience with the world, WHO, and other stakeholders to cooperate in research in the laboratories.

Given the WHO’s appreciation of TCM, it is a massive success for the Chinese government, health officials, and scientists. Indeed, it is a matter of pride for China for its landslide performance, especially when the major powers were peddling baseless propaganda over the virus origin, initiated protectionism in the distribution of vaccines, testing kits, ventilators, and face masks.

It is important to note that Pakistan has conducted clinical trials of traditional Chinese medicines to treat COVID-19. The trials were conducted on the patients, and the results were encouraging. Vaccines, traditional medicines, and medical supplies at the various pandemic stages in China made a significant difference.

Although Pakistan’s fight against the pandemic is far from over, and still there are cases of COVID, however, as a result of the generous support from the Chinese government, this entire fight and triumph were made possible.

When the world was polarized and entangled due to the politicization of the pandemic led by the US, China rallied its efforts globally to play its due role in the fight against the disease. China offered its volunteer efforts to the world by providing testing kits, face masks, vaccines, research, and development, initiated joint production of vaccines, distributed TCM, and kept the availability of ventilators and oxygen stable in the global market.

China’s sincere efforts and support on the global stage stand out in the community of nations for its relentless fight against the Covid-19. Finally, Chinese sincerity has been recognized by the due appreciation of WHO over TCM.

The writer is the Founder of Friends of the BRI Forum.



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