Peking: On August 11, Zhong Nanshan, a prominent respiratory expert and an alumnus of Peking University, was awarded the Medal of the Republic, the highest national honor, for his outstanding work in fighting COVID-19 in China.
When the COVID-19 pandemic broke out in China, Zhong immediately took on the leading role and began spreading awareness of the disease across the country. He was the one who stated the coronavirus could be transmitted among people, emphasized the importance of facial masks, stressed strict prevention and control efforts, while carrying out research projects for the sake of finding an effective cure for the disease.
Moreover, Zhong also stood on the front line combating the severe acute respiratory syndrome (SARS) epidemic in 2003. His persistence to information transparency was shown when he was the first person to speak out about the severity of the epidemic. Zhong’s courageous actions and persistent work ethic during the epidemic fully demonstrated the core values a good doctor embodies: humility, rationality and conscientiousness. Zhong won over the trust of the entire nation, and became a heroic figure praised by many people.
Zhong checks up on his patients at an ICU during the SARS epidemic in 2003
Other notable PKU alumni had also received the same honor in previous years, including Yu Min, a physicist who developed China’s hydrogen bomb, and Tu Youyou, the winner of the Nobel Prize in Physiology or Medicine for her isolation and study of the antimalarial substance artemisinin.