While there are currently no approved anti-virus treatments for children under the age of 12 in Taiwan, many have placed their hope in traditional herbal formula. Chunghua County announced that it will provide 1,000 government-funded spots to treat young, mild COVID cases with Taiwan-developed Chingguan Yihau.
In central Taiwan, Changhua County authorities estimated that as many as 2000 children under the age of 12 will become infected with COVID-19. The Changhua Public Health Bureau announced on the 6th that the bureau would offer 1000 government-funded spots to treat young Changhua residents with the traditional herbal formula Taiwan Chingguan Yihau, otherwise known as RespireAid, to relieve COVID-19 symptoms.
Wang Hui-mei, Changhua County Magistrate: “A Chinese practitioner will examine patients through scheduled video calls and send them Chinese herbal medicine. I think children would be able to recover soon through this method as well.”
The county's mild COVID cases aged 6 to 11 who are under home isolation are eligible for the service. The local health bureau would arrange for Chinese medicine clinic staff to contact families through video calls and prescribe Chingguan Yihau. Family members who have not been in direct contact with the sick child can pick up medicine from the clinic and would need to pay just a registration fee.
Chen Po-yuan, Traditional Medicine Practitioner: “The clinic would first contact the family to ask for basic information to set up an account, then they would make sure that the child is qualified for the service. The doctor would video call to see the child and prescribe medicine. The clinic would then arrange for family members to go pick up the medicine.”
Chinese medicine practitioners say that Chingguan Yihau for children comes in lower doses compared with that of adults. Dosages are different depending on the child's conditions and symptoms. Clinical results show that Chingguan Yihau helps to reduce the amount of coronavirus in the body and the number of days needed to be hospitalized. The Changhua Chinese Medical Association is calling on the public to not push the medicine out of stock by buying and hoarding Chingguan Yihau for prevention purposes. Chingguan Yihau should be left to those who really need to be treated.
Peng Te-kuei, Chairperson, Changhua Chinese Medical Association: “We may prescribe other herbal medicine in supplement to Chingguan Yihau for the patient depending on the patient's condition for better results. So please remember, don't buy the medicine if you don't need it.”
Chinese medicine practitioners also noted that Chingguan Yihau is of cold nature, so it may not be suitable for children who get diarrhea easily. Parents should discuss with doctors for a final decision.