A National Advanced Collective in Fighting against the COVID-19 Epidemic! Thumb up to West China Hospital and its medical staff
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On the morning, a meeting was held at the Great Hall of the People to commend role models in the country's fight against the COVID-19 epidemic. General Secretary Xi Jinping delivered an important speech, declaring that our Party had united and led all the people of the nation to have fight a thrilling battle against the epidemic, endured an arduous test of history, made tremendous efforts and achieved major strategic results in the fight against the COVID-19 epidemic, creating another heroic feat in the history of human struggle against diseases!
This day was also a day of pride and joy for the people of West China Hospital.
Because many from West China Hospital were honored in the meeting.
The West China Hospital of Sichuan University was awarded the “National Advanced Collective in Fighting against the COVID-19 Epidemic”, and Academician Wei Yuquan, Director of the State Key Laboratory of Biotherapy and Oncology Center, Professor Liang Zong'an, Director of the Department of Respiratory and Critical Care Medicine, Professor Kang Yan, Director of the Department of Critical Care Medicine, and Professor Zong Zhiyong, Head of the Department of Hospital Infection Management, were conferred on the title of “Exemplary Individual in Fighting against the COVID-19 Epidemic”, and Professor Liang Zong'an and Professor Kang Yan were also hailed as “National Outstanding Members of the Communist Party”.
The conference commended the exemplary individuals and advanced collectives in the national fight against the COVID-19 epidemic, the national outstanding members of the Communist Party and the national advanced grass-roots Party organizations. Li Weimin, President of West China Hospital, Sichuan University accepted the award on behalf of the hospital.
Fully joining the fight against the epidemic as a designated hospital in Sichuan
After the outbreak of the epidemic, West China Hospital, with the goal of not missing a single COVID-19 case, immediately set up two 24-hour fever clinics, treating a total of more than 27,000 fever patients, screening out more than 3,000 suspected cases, and quarantining 345 people for treatment. In just 10 days, an independent treatment center with 300 beds was reconstructed to ensure that all those in need were hospitalized or treated. The hospital was the first in China to establish the policies of "three channels" and "three separations" for in-hospital prevention and control, and effectively prevented and controlled hospital-acquired infections, achieving "zero infection" among patients and medical staff in the hospital.
Comprehensively supporting the prevention and control efforts in Sichuan Province
West China Hospital fully took over the intensive care wards of Public Health Clinical Center of Chengdu, and sent a 69-person medical team who worked for 54 days there and finally achieved zero death of severe or critically ill patients after the take-over.
The hospital also pioneered the 5G remote multidisciplinary and multi-location consultation model in the country, and the expert team formulated individualized and precision treatment plans for each case of severe or critically ill patients in 208 designated hospitals in the province every day, making it possible for Sichuan to have no death of a single patient in cities and prefectures outside Chengdu.
It immediately launched the dedicated psychological intervention consultation hotline and online consultation for the epidemic, providing a "four-in-one" epidemic intervention platform integrating disease consultation, psychological consultation, self-assessment and home management for the public.
Rushing to Hubei, Heilongjiang and Xinjiang to lend support
On January 25, the first hospital-acquired infection expert from Sichuan designated by the National Health Commission to assist Hubei departed from Chengdu and stayed in Wuhan for 74 days, guiding the prevention and control of hospital-acquired infection in Wuhan Living-room Mobile Cabin Hospital and Leishenshan Hospital.
West China Hospital sent a total of 5 batches of 175 medical staff to help Wuhan, making it the hospital from Sichuan sending the largest medical aid team to Hubei.
The team pioneered the critical care zoning precision treatment model in the country, resulting in a mortality rate of severe and critically ill patients much lower than the overall mortality rate of patients in Wuhan.
In addition, West China Hospital sent 8 experts in critical care, testing and hospital-acquired infection to Heilongjiang and Xinjiang to assist in the prevention and control of the local epidemic.
Experts from West China Hospital supported international battle against the epidemic
During the epidemic, West China Hospital sent a total of 19 top experts to Italy, Ethiopia, Djibouti and Azerbaijan to support the prevention and control of the COVID-19 epidemic overseas. It donated its self-developed rapid test kits and other epidemic prevention items to the Georgian government. It also made remote connection to peers in Italy, Spain, UK, Mozambique and Lebanon, to share the “plans of West China Hospital, experience of Sichuan and Chinese wisdom".
Making scientific breakthroughs to help prevent and control the epidemic
Under the support of Sichuan Province's research project on COVID-19, the hospital studied the integration and application of key prevention and control technologies, and published the "Emergency Recommendations West China Hospital for Prevention and Control of Hospital-acquired COVID-19 Infection" at the first time to guide hospitals at all levels nationwide. It also carried out the big data-based epidemiological research on COVID-19 to provide scientific support for prevention and control decisions of Sichuan Province. It joined hands with Tsinghua University to have independently developed the first rapid test kit in China, which can detect 6 common respiratory viruses including the coronavirus in 1.5 hours at one time. The kit was approved by the National Medical Products Administration for production and using in front-line prevention and control, and was recognized by General Secretary Xi Jinping on March 2, 2020. The recombinant protein COVID-19 vaccine, developed by a team led by Academician Wei Yuquan, has entered clinical trials.
Wei Yuquan, an academician of the Chinese Academy of Sciences
Director of Cancer Center of the State Key Laboratory of Biotherapy at West China Hospital, Sichuan University
A fighter with research capabilities as his weapon to develop the COVID-19 vaccine
On August 29, Chengdu citizens’ Moments at WeChat were flooded with a news post about the COVID-19 vaccine being injected into volunteers. The vaccine is precisely the recombinant protein COVID-19 vaccine developed by the team led by Academician Wei Yuquan of the State Key Laboratory of Biotherapy.
Academician Wei Yuquan is mainly engaged in basic research, key technology development, product development and clinical treatment of biotherapeutics including vaccines, especially research related to immunotherapy and vaccines, gene therapy and targeted drugs. After the outbreak of the COVID-19 epidemic, he, within a short period of time, set up a multidisciplinary team of nearly 100 people for tackling the problems in the COVID-19 vaccine, and undertook the special vaccine projects of the Ministry of Science and Technology and the National Health Commission as well as projects of the Ministry of Education and Sichuan Province. He fully devoted himself to the research and development of recombinant protein COVID-19 vaccine, breaking through multiple core key technologies.
The researchers with this lab published a paper on the recombinant protein COVID-19 vaccine in the internationally renowned journal Nature on July 29, which is the first paper on the COVID-19 vaccine published in the journal since the pandemic this year. According to the paper, the vaccine was tested on monkeys and other animals, and was found to have a good protective effect against SARS-CoV-2 infection, with no obvious side effects.
On August 21, the recombinant protein COVID-19 vaccine developed by Academician Wei Yuquan’s team was approved for clinical trials by the National Medical Products Administration. The vaccine targeted the receptor binding domain (S-RBD) of the spike protein of SARS-CoV-2 to trigger neutralizing antibodies to block the virus from infecting human cells. It was produced by using insect cells to multiply in the culture medium and introducing the gene of COVID-19 into insect cells, which means the cells can be used as a factory to produce high-quality recombinant vaccine proteins and purify them for refinement. Such an approach is suitable for large-scale manufacturing and marketing of vaccines.
On August 28, the training on the phase I clinical trial of the vaccine kicked off in China Medical City (in Taizhou, Jiangsu Province), and the next day, the first vaccine was injected into a volunteer.
In this national war against the epidemic, as a scientific researcher, Academician Wei Yuquan took up the scientific weapon to fight in his lab, making tremendous contribution to the prevention and control of the epidemic with his proficient, precise and rapid effort.
A “SARS” veteran to fight against COVID-19.
Director of the Department of Respiratory and Critical Care Medicine at West China Hospital, Sichuan University and head of the first medical expert team to assist Italy in fighting the pandemic.
After the outbreak of the epidemic, Liang Zong'an, a Party member, led teams to the frontline of the epidemic three times, just as he did 17 years ago when he was dealing with SARS.
As a veteran of the SARS battlefield, on January 29 this year, he led a team of experts from West China Hospital to Public Health Clinical Center of Chengdu to guide the treatment of confirmed patients there. He introduced his hands-on experience in fighting SARS, Influenza A virus and COVID-19 into the anti-epidemic effort, and implemented the policies of "four earlys” and "four concentrations", precise screening and classification treatment, effectively cutting off the source of infection, strictly controlling the quarantine of patients, and doing a solid job of early prevention.
On February 16, he led 69 medical staff from West China Hospital to take over the intensive care wards of Public Health Clinical Center of Chengdu, directly guiding the treatment of critically ill patients in Chengdu. As a hands-on leader, he meticulously checked all severe and critically ill patients one by one, efficiently carried out bedside monitoring and treatment, conducted multidisciplinary discussions from the reality of the epidemic, and implemented precise treatment for patients in continuous practice. During this period, the medical team led by him forged valiantly ahead despite the heavy pressure and crisis, and successfully treated 23 critically ill patients. They not only ensured zero infection of medical staff, but also realized zero death of critically ill cases with their "hard power".
As the executive deputy head of Sichuan COVID-19 expert team, Liang Zong'an also participated in building the province's medical treatment model, strengthened the medical treatment capability with multiple measures, and improved the treatment level of critically ill patients in Sichuan with 5G technology, making a great contribution to the fight against the COVID-19 epidemic.
On March 11, Liang Zong'an was appointed by the Chinese government as the head of the medical expert team to assist Italy in the fight against the pandemic and set out again. He went north to Milan, Padua and other hard-hit areas, and paid all-round visits to local front-line hospitals with a highly-involved, active, cooperative and professional attitude. At the same time, he conducted in-depth communication with Chinese nationals in Italy and gave video lectures on the prevention and control of COVID-19 to tens of thousands of Chinese fellow countrymen and international students in Italy, Spain and the UK, teaching them how to protect themselves and letting them feel the bonds of "sharing love with family and joining strength with the country".
From the SARS battle to the prevention and control of the COVID-19 epidemic, from Chengdu to Italy, Liang Zong'an, a 58-year-old veteran, was doing his duty as a physician and as a Party member.
Setting out three times, one of the “Eight Immortals of Critical Care Medicine” who held fast to his position for 142 days.
Director of the Department of Critical Care Medicine of West China Hospital, Sichuan University and a member of national COVID-19 medical treatment expert team.
On February 7, Kang Yan, as the head of the third medical team sent by West China Hospital, led 130 members to Wuhan to support the East Branch of Renmin Hospital of Wuhan University.
As the team leader, he personally completed the first tracheal intubation, the first deep vein catheterization, the first tracheal extubation, the first prone ventilation, the first percutaneous tracheotomy and the first invasive mechanical ventilation plus transfer of ECMO-supported patient, which greatly boosted the morale of the team and created one miracle of life after another. During the 60 days in Wuhan, Kang Yan and his team delivered a remarkable result—they took over two critical care wards of the East Branch and were responsible for the treatment of a total of 80 beds of critically ill patients, and as of April 6, a total of 230 people were admitted and treated, with a successful rescue rate of 97.3%.
On the day of lifting Wuhan's lockdown, Kang Yan and seven other top critical care specialists from across China remained there, forming a luxurious top lineup in the field of critical care in China, and for a while, "Eight Immortals of Critical Care Medicine" became a hot word on the internet, and the netizens commented they saw hope when they saw the eight.
On April 7, after finishing his mission, Kang Yan returned to Chengdu from Wuhan together with the medical team, and only after three days of quarantine and rest in a hotel, he was assigned by the medical treatment team of Joint Prevention and Control Mechanism of the State Council in Response to the Novel Coronavirus Pneumonia, and went to Heilongjiang urgently. In Suifenhe and Mudanjiang, he guided the development of the screening process for critically ill patients, the transformation of designated hospitals and the training of medical teams, and participated in the treatment of 25 critically ill patients. He stayed there until the last four imported cases of COVID-19 were cured and discharged from Hongqi Hospital affiliated to Mudanjiang Medical College, achieving the initial goal of "zero death of imported cases and zero infection of medical staff".
On July 18, assigned by the National Health Commission, Kang Yan went to Urumqi to guide the treatment of severe cases of COVID-19 there. At the Infectious Disease Hospital of Xinjiang Uygur Autonomous Region, he directed the renovation of the wards, organized and trained the COVID-19 treatment team, and replicated the hierarchical treatment method from Wuhan's "red, yellow and green" wards to develop varied medical and nursing plans for patients in different wards. In Kashgar, Kang Yan led an ECMO team from West China Hospital to treat local critically ill patients, achieving zero patient death and zero infection among medical staff.
From Hubei to Heilongjiang and then to Xinjiang, Kang Yan spent 142 days on the front line, pulling critically ill patients back from the death line time and again and making a huge contribution to the fight against the epidemic.
The “gatekeeper” in Sichuan’s battle of epidemic prevention and control.
Head of the Department of Hospital Infection Management of West China Hospital, Sichuan University.
Director of Pathogenic Microorganism Research Center.
A member of national COVID-19 medical treatment expert team.
This popular science article, published in the early stages of the outbreak on January 22, teaching people how to choose masks and wear them well by West China Hospital, must have been read by many of our friends who follow us, and one of the authors is Professor Zong Zhiyong, an infection expert at West China Hospital.
In the prevention and control of the COVID-19 epidemic, Zong Zhiyong served as a member of the national medical treatment expert team, deputy head of the Sichuan medical treatment expert team and head of the hospital-acquired infection prevention and control team, and participated in the work of patient treatment, scientific research and prevention & control governance. In addition to taking charge of hospital-acquired infection prevention and control at the West China Hospital and guiding the frontline medical team in Wuhan in this regard, he has also visited the frontlines of the epidemic in Sichuan, such as Public Health Clinical Center of Chengdu and designated hospitals Mianyang, to provide on-site guidance. He has hence dubbed as the “gatekeeper” in Sichuan’s battle of epidemic prevention and control.
On April 16, Zong Zhiyong, as a member of the Chinese medical expert team to Ethiopia, departed from Chengdu to carry out a 4-week anti-epidemic work in Africa.
In Africa, he and the other members visited the designated hospitals, cabin hospitals, quarantine centers, testing centers, testing laboratories and other places for COVID-19 infections, made the rounds of the wards of confirmed patients, discussed cases with front-line medical staff, conducted trainings, and offered professional advice on process transformation and optimization, medical staff prevention and control and patient treatment. They had in-depth discussions and exchanges with officials and experts from the ministries of health of the two countries, as well as the African Center for Disease Control and Prevention and the World Health Organization’s office in Ethiopia, and put forward specific opinions and suggestions based on China's experience in prevention and control and the local realities. They also held several on-site and video trainings and on-line interactions with Chinese embassies in Ethiopia and Djibouti, Chinese missions in the African Union, Chinese medical teams stationed locally, local Chinese-funded institutions and Chinese compatriots living and working in the region. For their outstanding performance in assisting Africa, Zong Zhiyong and his teammates were awarded the "Independence Day Medal for Knights” by the Prime Minister of Djibouti personally.
Because of his fluency in spoken English, Zong Zhiyong also participated in video trainings with Italy, Spain, Mozambique, Sao Tome and Principe, Cape Verde, Tanzania and Bolivia and answered relevant questions, contributing a lot to international epidemic prevention.
Recalling that 7 months ago on February 7, in the setting-out ceremony of the third 130-member medical team of West China Hospital to assist Hubei, President Li Weimin and Secretary Zhang Wei led everyone to recite the oath of a medical student, and cadenced and bold voices resounded through the ancient Huaxiba: "Health related, life entrusted..."
Such an excited setting-off scene,
reappeared the moment when West China Hospital people gave up civilian pursuits to join the war against Japan more than 80 years ago,
the moment when West China Hospital people crossed the Yalu River to go to the battlefield to resist U.S. aggression and aid Korea more than 60 years ago,
the moment when West China Hospital people left for the SARS isolated wards 17 years ago,
the moment when West China Hospital people left for Whenchuan to participate in the earthquake medical rescue 12 years ago,
the moment when West China Hospital people left for Yushu to participate in the earthquake medical rescue 10 years ago,
the moment when West China Hospital people left for Lushan to participate in the earthquake medical rescue 7 years ago,
and the moment when West China Hospital people left for Nepal to participate in the earthquake medical rescue 5 years ago.
As President Li Weimin said in an interview with the Sichuan Daily this morning before entering the Great Hall of the People for the commendation ceremony,
"Behind this great honor is the efforts of thousands of West China Hospital medical staff to fight the epidemic. As medical staff, wherever there is a need, we will be there!”
wherever there is a need, we from West China Hospital will be there.
Where West China Hospital people are, proud results will be delivered.
Caring about the family, the nation and the common folks, being broad-minded and keeping improving through reforms, West China Hospital people have never failed the country.