Coronavirus: The Chinese Doctor who Gave the Alert is Dead, an Investigation is Open

General News
Doctor Li Wenliang, a doctor from Wuhan, died of coronavirus

Doctor Li Wenliang, a doctor from Wuhan, died of coronavirus. He had been one of the first to raise the alarm, which had resulted in his being sanctioned.

Chinese doctor sanctioned for having raised the alarm at the appearance of the new coronavirus succumbed to the epidemic, releasing a flood of anger while the assessment continues to increase.

Two weeks after the de facto quarantine of Hubei, the province where viral pneumonia appeared, the epidemic contaminated 31,161 people in mainland China, including 636 fatally, according to the last report communicated by the authorities.

But the epidemic took a political turn with the death overnight of doctor Li Wenliang, a doctor from Wuhan, who had given the alert at the end of December on the appearance of the virus in the capital of Hubei.

Summoned by the police

He had therefore been summoned by the police, who accused him of spreading rumours with seven other people. He is now a national hero in the face of local officials accused of hiding the beginnings of the epidemic.

“It was a hero who raised the alarm at the cost of his life,” writes one of his colleagues from Wuhan on the online network Weibo.

In a comment erased by censorship, a user got angry:

“Let all these officials who fatten themselves up with public money perish in the snow.”

Doctor Li, only 34 years old, died at the Central Hospital of the city cut off from the world since January 23 with its 11 million inhabitants. This ophthalmologist contracted the disease while treating a patient.

An ophthalmologist, he contracted the disease while treating a patient.

Reacting quickly to popular anger, the central government announced the opening of an investigation into “the circumstances surrounding Dr. Li Wenliang, as reported by the masses” and the dispatch of a team of anti-corruption investigators.

Rarely, the Supreme Court had already rehabilitated in late January in an article eight whistleblowers, who had tried to warn the population at the start of the epidemic.

His death illustrates the chaotic situation of hospitals in Wuhan, overwhelmed by the influx of patients. A senior provincial official admitted on Thursday that medical personnel were overwhelmed and lacked protective equipment to protect themselves from the virus.

He explained to CNN at the start:

“When I saw the images circulating online, I understood that it was getting out of control and that I was going to be punished.”

Read also: Coronavirus: Air France-KLM extends the suspension of its flights to China until March 15

Cruise ships in the harbour

Many countries in the world have increased restrictions on the entry of people from China and advised against travel to this country.

Others continued to evacuate their citizens from Wuhan. Canada was thus to receive during the day a plane repatriating nearly 180 of its nationals.

Distressing situation: thousands of travellers and crew members are detained on two cruise ships in Asia.

Off Japan, the Diamond Princess is kept in quarantine after the confirmation of 61 cases on board. Some 3,700 people are cloistered in their cabin.

In Hong Kong, some 3,600 people suffer a similar fate on the World Dream, including three former passengers who tested positive.

And according to a statement from the Japanese authorities, another liner, the Westerdam, is en route to Japan with at least one confirmed case on board.

The liner Diamond Princess in the port of Yokohama (Japan) on February 6, 2020.
The liner Diamond Princess in the port of Yokohama (Japan) on February 6, 2020. (© AFP / Kazuhiro NOGI)

The paralysis continues

In the past 24 hours, the toll of the epidemic has increased by 73 deaths in mainland China, including 69 in Hubei. The authorities counted 3,143 new cases of contamination.

Of the 36,000 cases enumerated in total, 4,800 are considered serious. In addition, 26,000 suspected cases have been recorded across the country.

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