China's latest diagnosis and treatment scheme of the novel coronavirus disease (COVID-19) has deleted the category of clinically diagnosed cases.
Clinically diagnosed cases, added to the fifth version of the scheme earlier this month only for the hardest-hit Hubei Province, refer to suspected cases with pneumonia-related computerized tomography (CT) scan results.
Speaking at a press conference Thursday in Beijing, Wang Guiqiang, director of the infectious disease department of the Peking University First Hospital, explained the changes in the sixth scheme.
Wang said the category was created to offer patients waiting for the nucleic acid testing timely treatment to reduce the mortality rate.
The situation in the province, however, had changed and the capacity of nucleic acid testing had been greatly improved, said Wang, adding that the latest diagnosis standard is now the same nationwide: suspected cases and confirmed cases.
At the end of Wednesday, Hubei had 49,665 confirmed cases and 3,456 suspected cases.
The latest version also added that the virus can be transmitted if someone was exposed to high concentrations of aerosol in a relatively closed environment for a long time.
"The aerosol transmission happens conditionally," said Wang, stressing that it is very important to know that aerosol transmission is not always possible.
The aerosol transmission refers to the mixing of the virus with droplets in the air to form aerosols, which can float for long distances and cause infection after inhalation.
The new scheme also highlighted the importance of traditional Chinese medicines (TCM) in treating the patients.
Combined with comprehensive treatment and antiviral therapy, the TCM will further help to reduce the fatality rate of the virus, said Wang.
Adding the management of discharged patients, the latest scheme suggested the patients stay at home and take their body temperature regularly for two weeks after leaving the hospitals.
Recovered patients shall visit a hospital for health checkups in the second and fourth weeks after being discharged, said the scheme.