Multi-pronged measures in place to cope with upsurge of respiratory illnesses

Medical authorities across China have coordinated medical resources and taken multiple measures to meet the increasing demand for medical treatment among its residents this winter.
Multi-pronged measures in place to cope with upsurge of respiratory illnesses

A doctor examines a girl in a hospital in Kunshan, Jiangsu Province, on November 14, 2023.

Facing the recent high incidences of respiratory infectious diseases, medical authorities across China have coordinated medical resources and taken multiple measures to meet the increasing demand for medical treatment among its residents this winter.

Monitoring data shows that the recent respiratory infectious diseases are mainly influenza, along with others caused by rhinovirus, mycoplasma pneumoniae, respiratory syncytial virus, adenovirus, and the like.

Currently, pediatric medical institutions nationwide continue to run around the clock, providing necessary medical support for minor patients. At the same time, education authorities and schools are strengthening their health monitoring and disease prevention measures to safeguard the health and safety of their faculties and students.

24/7 medical service

The National Health Commission (NHC) said on Friday that it will fully tap the potential of pediatric diagnosis and treatment services and expand the total number of available service resources.

Amid the latest surge of respiratory illnesses, medical institutions should extend their outpatient reception hours, add available outpatient service numbers, expand consultation rooms and diagnosis and treatment areas in hospitals, and set up nighttime and weekend outpatient departments according to the medical treatment needs of their children patients, said NHC.

Beijing Children's Hospital is one of the largest pediatric specialty medical institutions in the Chinese capital and the national children's medical center. Recently, the number of outpatient and emergency children patients has risen sharply, at times far exceeding its reception capacity. To expand its service capacity, the hospital's surgical rooms have also freed up a large part of the space for treating children with fevers.

Zhao Chengsong, vice president of Beijing Children's Hospital, introduced that the hospital has coordinated all its medical resources to ensure the medical needs of various children patients, adjusted the staff distribution, which is now tilted to the internal medicine or fever and cough departments, set up a sequential treatment clinic for pneumonia, adjusted the inpatient beds, and opened beds in its internal medicine department to treat children with pneumonia.

Meanwhile, the hospital also facilitates its inspection, imaging, pharmacy, and charging services for the patients, with staff numbers increased and their working hours extended.

In the Second Hospital of Jilin University, located in Changchun, the provincial capital of northeast China's Jilin Province, most of the outpatient reception hall has been turned into an infusion area for minors, where children can undergo infusion treatment accompanied by their family members.

Zhang Yunfeng, director of the pediatric diagnosis and treatment center of the hospital, said that as of late, the daily number of pediatric outpatients was around 400 to 500, while the number of patients in the emergency department was 200 to 300.

Pan Zhenxiang, vice president of the Second Hospital of Jilin University, said that some doctors from other departments have joined the work of the pediatric internal medicine department to help relieve the piled-up medical treatment demands. A complete emergency plan has been made, with sufficient medics on standby.

Even at night, the hospital has set up a special emergency department that lasts until 11 pm, which helps ensure those who come to see a doctor late at night. It also established a temporary pharmacy for pediatric emergency patients, making the service easily accessible for anxious patients.

For the sake of students' health

In response to the current upsurge of respiratory diseases, in late November, relevant Beijing municipal authorities including the Beijing Municipal Education Commission urged greater efforts to safeguard the health and safety of students, and demanded monitoring the health of teachers and students to ensure that no teachers nor students go to work or attend classes with illness.

The schools should not make mandatory requirements for homework when its students fall ill, and it is not recommended to rush making up homework during their illness, said the municipal education commission.

Moreover, the schools should do a good job in the orderly coordination of online and offline teaching. The schools and relevant class teachers should communicate with the parents about the key points of the recent teaching courses missed by the absent student patients, the commission added.

In accordance with the requirements of the local education department and disease control department, all schools in Jilin Province have strengthened their daily management and science popularization in schools and among students and parents.

In the Second Experimental Gaoxin School of Jilin Province, each grade strictly implements the system of morning and afternoon inspections, registration, and reporting of absence due to illness.

The classes have strengthened the daily ventilation and sanitation work. The head teachers are asked to guide their students to wash their hands frequently.

In the classes with related cases, measures such as symptom monitoring, case management, disinfection, and ventilation have also been ramped up, according to the school.

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