The 84-year-old Zhong Nanshan comes to the frontline and leads Chinese people to fight against the epidemic. CHINA DAILY
In the fight against the SARS epidemic 17 years ago, Zhong Nanshan became a hero in the hearts of many Chinese people for his courage in assuming responsibility. Today, this hero comes to the fore once again and continues to reassure people while the nation is battling the novel coronavirus pneumonia (NCP).
When the NCP was first reported in late December, the National Health Commission enlisted high-level experts to investigate the novel coronavirus. As a leading Chinese respiratory expert, Zhong was appointed the head of the expert team. Despite being 84, he took on the task without any hesitation and headed to Wuhan, the epicenter of the disease.
Due to the huge number of travelers caused by the upcoming Spring Festival, Zhong failed to book any airline or high-speed train tickets. Instead, he had to settle for a temporary seat in the dining cab of an overnight train. Even so, he didn’t take a rest that day and studied the information of infected patients until he arrived in Wuhan at 11 pm.
In the next two days, he maintained his busy schedule. Apart from numerous meetings, Zhong also worked as a messenger to inform the public of the situation. During those days, Zhong only got four hours to sleep each night, Guangzhou Daily reported.
“Zhong showed us his relentless and unflappable spirit in this incident,” Zheng Jinping, deputy director of the research center for respiratory diseases in Guangzhou, told China.org.cn.
While seeking effective measures to prevent and control the disease’s spread, Zhong also tried his best to stop the public’s panic amid the NCP outbreak.
When many couldn’t get N95 face masks, which were believed to be the best to prevent the virus, Zhong wore a surgical mask in an interview to show people that surgical masks can also work well.
In 2003, Zhong became a trusted expert due to his devotion to truth in the fight against SARS. Many were calmed by his words and listened to his advice.
Still leading the fight against the novel coronavirus, Zhong maintains his role of telling the truth and reassuring the public. As he told Beijing Television, in this critical situation, “morale, solidarity and cooperation are very important.”