China calls for healthcare augmentation after respiratory disease outbreak

Beijing, Nov 26 (EFE).- China urged local authorities to increase the number of health clinics to treat fever patients as the country faces an outbreak of respiratory infections.

The National Health Commission has said the disease outbreak was due to “known pathogens” and there was nothing to worry about.

Commission spokesperson Mi Feng told reporters that the increase in acute respiratory infections was due to the simultaneous circulation of several types of pathogens, especially influenza.

He said rhinovirus, mycoplasma pneumoniaem, and respiratory syncytial virus were circulating.

“Efforts should be made to increase the number of clinics and open more areas for medical treatment, appropriately extend service hours and ensure the supply of medicines,” Mi said.

He called for epidemic prevention and control in key crowded places like schools, childcare institutions, and nursing homes, as well as restricting the movement of people and visits.

Cases among children are especially high in the north of the country, like Beijing and Liaoning province, where hospitals warn of “long waits” to treat patients.

On Nov. 22, the World Health Organization sought “epidemiological and clinical information,” as well as laboratory results following an increase in respiratory diseases, particularly clusters of pneumonia in children, across China.

The health authorities said they shared with WHO representatives the data on the surveillance and detection of pathogens and the details of diagnostic and treatment protocols.

Health officials stressed the importance of vaccinating the population, particularly the elderly and the people with underlying health conditions.

Authorities have called for strengthening primary care and coordination between hospitals to address the increase in cases of respiratory infections.

The NHC has instructed major medical institutions to provide technical assistance to primary-level medical facilities to enhance their diagnostic abilities and treat common infections, according to the official Xinhua news agency.

A health official cited by the official Xinhua agency said the commission has called for a series of measures to “improve the capacity for diagnosis and treatment of common respiratory infections in community health centers and hospitals,” as well as to “facilitate the identification and referral of serious cases.”

Since mid-October, northern China has reported an increase in influenza-like illness compared to the same period in the previous three years.

To reduce the risk of further spread, WHO advised Chinese people to get vaccinated, maintain distance from infected individuals, stay home when ill, get tested, wear masks, and ensure good ventilation. EFE


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