Guangzhou leads in virus battle led by respiratory specialist Zhong Nanshan

Source:Global Times Published: 2020/2/21 23:58:56

Renowned Chinese respiratory specialist Zhong Nanshan speaks at a press conference in Guangzhou, south China's Guangdong Province, Feb. 18, 2020. (Xinhua/Deng Hua)

Led by renowned Chinese respiratory scientist Zhong Nanshan, a strong team of 23 medical experts specializing in infectious and respiratory diseases is helping prevent and control the outbreak of the novel coronavirus pneumonia in Guangzhou, Guangdong Province, a mega city with a population of 10 million, of which 40 percent are migrant workers.

So far, the city has reported zero infection cases in its designated medical institutions, zero deaths, zero infections of medical staff in designated hospitals, and zero in the number of new patients for four consecutive days. All these zeros were attributed to the city's special preventive measures and treatment methods. 

On Friday's press conference, officials from the city's health commission said as of Thursday midnight, a total of 339 COVID-19 cases had been diagnosed in Guangzhou, and 172 people had been cured and discharged. A total of 167 patients were still in the hospital. The discharge rate was 51 percent, higher than the provincial average and also than the national average, ranking high among the major cities in China.

An official said that the result was closely related to the city's treatment principles featuring early intervention. For example, for those that show symptoms such as fever and coughing, the city quarantines them at a hospital immediately instead of at home.  

Each district has at least one designated hospital for medical quarantine, and the hospital will conduct nucleic acid testing when necessary so that the patient suspected of being infected with the virus could receive the test report as soon as possible. If diagnosed, the patients could be transferred to the designated hospital to accept the most professional treatment, the official said. 

Different from other cities, if patients' conditions deteriorate in a short period, they would not be sent to the general hospital based on general procedures, but to the intensive care unit. 

When the outbreak first occurred, the city's health commission prepared to expand the number of beds by 4,700 and divert different types of patients to different hospitals. Medical experts organized by the commission would hold regular medical consultations and the 23 experts led by Zhong have formed the best team for infectious and respiratory diseases. 

Guangzhou has also ensured the safety of medical staff. All the medical staff live in designated hotels. With effective protective measures and the implementation of the rotation system, Guangzhou reported zero infections of medical staff at designated hospitals. 

Zhong is a Chinese respiratory expert and a leading scientist in research into the novel coronavirus in Guangzhou. On January 18, 84-year-old Zhong hopped on a train to Wuhan in Central China's Hubei Province, although he suggested the public "not go to Wuhan unless for a special purpose."

A joke circulating online during the epidemic said that "no one should go out until Zhong Nanshan says you can," which reflects Chinese people's trust in him. 

The trust has existed for 17 years, dating back to when Zhong told the public about the facts on the SARS virus. At a press conference held on April 4, 2003, Zhong pointed out that the epidemic was far from being controlled as there was still no clue about the cause of and treatment to the disease. Zhong's research was recognized by the World Health Organization. It was his insistence that helped understand the situation.

Global Times

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