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Dialogue@ZJU: Zhejiang experience in fighting COVID-19 shared with the world


[Message from the Editor: On March 11,the World Health Organization (WHO) declared COVID-19 a pandemic, pointing to the over 118,000 cases of the coronavirus illness in over 110 countries and territories around the world and the sustained risk of further global spread.Zhejiang University community responded swiftly to the urgent request for support across the globe. In the brief 11 days from March 11 to March 21, the University organized a series of cloud conferences with close partners, Belt & Road countries, hospitals and universities and shared unreservedly with them the Chinese approach, pioneering measures adopted in Zhejiang Province and the experience of Zhejiang University.]

On March 11, medical experts from the Zhejiang University First Affiliated Hospital conducted a remote consultation with Professor Jurgen Haas from the Royal Infirmary of Edinburgh and offered their professional advice. His hospital had just received a patient with novel coronavirus pneumonia a few hours earlier before this connection. As the patient’s condition deteriorated rapidly within two or three hours, the patient was currently in the ICU. Through a friend, Prof. Haas made this connection with the doctors in Hangzhou and got first-hand suggestions on how to treat the COVID-19 patients in the critical condition.

On March 13, 30-plus experts and doctors from the Zhejiang University Second Affiliated Hospital, University College Cork and Oxford University held a remote workshop in Hangzhou, Wuhan, Ireland and the UK.

Two cases of community transmission have recently been confirmed in the city of Cork, where Professor Oisín J. O'Connell is based. He is eager to know how medical institutions, such as Zhejiang University affiliated hospitals, effectively mobilize manpower and materials in a short period of time and do a good job of training, prevention and control and treatment when the novel coronavirus outbreak hit. Dr. David Garry, Head of Intensive Care of Oxford University Hospital and a friend of Prof. O’Connell, heard about the remote work and immediately attended this workshop with the whole team. Experts from the Second Affiliated Hospital shared valuablr experiences in treating the patients with COVID-19, especially on oxygen therapy and fine care.

On March 18, dozens of medical experts from the Zhejiang University First Affiliated Hospital and Yale University conducted a web conference. Yale doctors in emergency department, intensive medicine, anesthesiology, surgery, obstetrics, rehabilitation and other experts asked a series of questions about clinical treatment on the COVID-19 patients.

On the same day, the Zhejiang University Fourth Affiliated Hospital provided guidance on the prevention and control of COVID-19 for doctors in hospitals in Abu Dhabi of the United Arab Emirates.

After the live connection, a Facebook blogger from Egypt, with more than half a million followers, conducted live interview with Prof. XU Zhihao, Vice President of the Fourth Affiliated Hospital. More than 110,000 netizens watched the live broadcast.

On March 19, over 10 experts from the Zhejiang University School of Public Health, the Yale School of Public Health and the Yale School of Nursing exchanged ideas with each other at a web conference. The meeting focus on epidemic prevention and control policy and other related questions.  

On March 20, the Zhejiang University Second Affiliated Hospital held a remote conference with 82 American epidemiologists from the Johns Hopkins University School of Medicine and Brigham and Women’s Hospital of Harvard Medical School. They were eager to know about Chinese experiences in successfully treating novel Coronavirus patients, such as the early intervene steps, admittance standards of patients, the characteristics of high-risk patients, discharge standards, treatment methods, and training suggestions to the doctors.

Meanwhile, it was also invited for a television interview with Radio Telefis Eireann—Ireland’s National Television and Radio Broadcaster.

On March 21, the Zhejiang University First Affiliated Hospital held a video conference with the Ministry of Health of Argentina. The Minister of Health of Argentina, Dr. Gines Gonzalez Garcia, who led his team and CDC members, thanked the First Affiliated Hospital for their cooperation. "Drawing upon China's experience and lessons, we hope to apply them to our local practice and minimize the impact of the outbreak on Argentina.”