COVID-19 patients are discharged from the Hepatobiliary Hospital of Jilin in Changchun, Jilin province, on Tuesday. Forty-five patients discharged on Tuesday began seven days of home observation. (Photo by WANG QIANG/FOR CHINA DAILY)
Jilin province has received 10,000 doses of Pfizer's COVID-19 treatment drug Paxlovid－the first batch to be used on the Chinese mainland since gaining approval－and has distributed 6,000 doses to the anti-epidemic front lines, officials said on Tuesday.
"Paxlovid will be used to treat adult patients of COVID-19 who tested positive for the virus within five days and have mild to moderate symptoms with a high risk to develop severe conditions," Zhang Li, deputy director of the Jilin Provincial Health Commission, told a news conference on Tuesday. "It is also suitable for infected children aged 12 to 17 and weighing over 40 kilograms."
He added that the drug had been approved for improving patients' conditions when used as soon as possible.
"The 6,000 doses have been sent to designated hospitals across the province," he said. "The rest have been kept in reserve and will be distributed according to clinical demands."
The province reported 1,902 new locally transmitted COVID-19 cases and 563 asymptomatic carriers on Monday, the provincial health commission said on Tuesday.
Of the confirmed cases, 1,437 were found in Changchun, 438 in Jilin city, 23 in Siping and four in Yanbian Korean autonomous prefecture.
Of the asymptomatic carriers, 558 were identified in Jilin city, three in Yanbian, and one each in Liaoyuan and Siping.
On Monday, the Second Makeshift Hospital in Jilin city welcomed some special staff members－a batch of 20 intelligent medical service robots－to help reduce the workload of medical personnel. The robots are an upgraded model of an intelligent delivery robot developed by a research and development team at Jilin University and its first affiliated hospital in 2020.
Researchers have remolded its mobile chassis and control system and expanded its functions to meet the needs of makeshift hospitals.
Cameras on the robots can help medical workers get a remote view of the situations of patients, which can reduce the frequency of ward rounds and the pressure on medical workers, according to the R&D team.
The robots can follow orders from medical workers to provide video calls between doctors and patients, and can send meals to the patients' beds, reducing the risks of the virus spreading.
Researchers have also put information about COVID-19 epidemic prevention and control into the robots so they can answer questions raised by the patients.
"It is a good way to relieve the patients' anxiety and promote the spread of epidemic prevention and control knowledge," a researcher said.
According to the different structures and environmental situations of makeshift hospitals, the robots can also carry out automatic disinfection, greatly reducing staff members' workloads.
"The first batch of 12 robots began work at Tongyuan Makeshift Hospital in Changchun on March 15," a staff member in charge of the work said. "We will continue to produce another 500 robots."