Zhong Nanshan (钟南山 born 20 October 1936) is a Chinese epidemiologist and pulmonologist who discovered the SARS coronavirus in 2003. He was president of the Chinese Medical Association from 2005 to 2009 and is currently the editor-in-chief of the Journal of Thoracic Disease.

With China taking unprecedented measures to seal infected regions and limit transmission routes, Zhong applauded the government for locking down Wuhan, the city at the epicentre which he said lost control of the virus at an early stage.

“The local government, local healthcare authority should have some responsibility on this,” he said, “Their work had not been done well.”

When Local authorities have come under fire for their heavy-handed treatment of the late doctor Li Wenliang, who was reprimanded by police in early January for “spreading rumours” about the disease, Zhong still thought of Doctor Li as a hero.

“The majority of the people think he’s the hero of China,” Zhong said, wiping tears. “I’m so proud of him, he told people the truth, at the end of December, and then he passed away.”

Zhong earned international fame for managing the SARS outbreak, and was renowned for refuting the official line which downplayed the severity of the crisis. He was voted one of China’s top 10 scientists in 2010. During the 2019–20 coronavirus outbreak originated in Wuhan, he was again appointed as a leading advisor in managing the crisis.

Zhong has made statements assuring the public that Chinese officials have been transparent in handling the new coronavirus.

In contrast to other doctors, who are suggesting that the coronavirus will peak in May or June, Zhong initially put forth the optimistic prediction that it would peak between February 4-7. This was later amended to February 12-16.

Sadly to say that with the coronavirus crisis is getting worse, Zhong has been used by the Chinese Communist Regime as a pawn to deliver “positive image” of the government.

Something about Zhong’s life as follows:

Zhong was born in October 1936 at Central Hospital in Nanjing, Jiangsu, Republic of China with his ancestral home in Xiamen, Fujian. Zhong was educated at the Beijing Medical University and finished his residency training in internal medicine in the university hospital. In 1980s, he completed further training at the St Bartholomew’s Hospital in London and the University of Edinburgh Medical School between 1979 and 1981. He graduated from the University of Edinburgh Medical School with an MD in 1981.

Zhong became president of the Chinese Thoracic Society in 2000. He became president of the Chinese Medical Association in 2005. He is currently the director of the Guangzhou Institute of Respiratory Diseases and editor-in-chief of the Journal of Thoracic Disease. Zhong has discovered the relationship between protein malnutrition and COPD and has developed a calibrated formula on energy consumption for patients with COPD.

Two of Zhong’s most important contributions for the ultimate victory over SARS are the following clinical practices. First, he used, for the first time while treating SARS patients Non-invasive ventilation method, which increased the amount of oxygen that the patients could intake; this method greatly helped to alleviate the pain of the patients. Second, he insisted on proposing the use of Cortisone for the treating of patients under severe conditions. This treatment method significantly lowered the death rate of severe patients down to only 13% and decreased the total treatment time.

When delegates led by Dr. Evans from the World Health Organization visited China in early April, Zhong presented the characteristics of SARS as well as the treatment and prevention method in China. His presentation was received with great appraisal and the subject he presented was used widely for the fight against Severe acute respiratory syndrome all over the world.

Zhong was an outstanding college athlete in the 1950s. His wife Li Shaofen was a top basketball player, a member of the China women’s national basketball team for 13 years. They married on 31 December 1963. They have two children: son Zhong Weide and daughter Zhong Weiyue. Zhong Weide is a physician, and Zhong Weiyue is a swimmer.

Edited by staff

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