More than 600 people have now died from the novel, coronavirus, and among them is the 34-year-old Dr. Li Wenliang. The doctor who first blew the whistle on the emergence of the virus last year December. He tried warning his colleague doctors but, was silenced by local authorities for ‘spreading rumors’.
He first got to know about the virus when he was treating a patient in his hospital for Glaucoma. The patient had no idea he was living with the deadly virus.
According to Al Jazeera, he had warned his classmates in a private WeChat message about a SARS-like virus spreading in Wuhan, the epicentre of the epidemic.
Li was apprehended earlier last month for spreading ‘rumors’ even though the government knew what he had said, could be true. Not only him, but others who were found to be sharing posts about the deadly virus on weibo and other social media channels were all arrested.
One of Dr. Li’s colleague posted around 9:30pm on Thursday that he had passed away after being sent into the intensive care unit.
The news was first reported by Global times, China’s English Language state media and opened a social media discussion on Weibo.
The Doctor’s death quickly became the most talked on WeChat and Weibo, China’s two biggest social media platforms attracting millions of people. Netizens on these two platforms are filled with grief and anger as they blame the government for not doing anything about the virus when it was first reported by Li and now, he has to give up his life for it.
The topic “Li Wenliang” and “Wuhan Government Still Owes Dr Li an Apology” were trending on Weibo in the first hour following the news, topping the list.
More than 31,000 people have been affected since the outbreak began but Chinese authorities say more than 1,100 people have been discharged from hospital after recovering.
“The Doctors are committed to saving us from the brink of death”.
According to the World Health Organization, there are signs the daily number of new cases is falling but its too soon to know if the outbreak has reached its peak.