Dr. Li Wenliang was one of 8 doctors visited by police after early warnings on virus
Ophthalmologist Dr. Li Wenliang become somewhat of a folk hero in China as one of the 8 doctors who was disciplined by police after warning fellow doctors to wear protective clothing because of a new SARS virus.
He was then visited by policy and the Public Security Bureau where he was told to sign a letter where he was accused of "making false comments" that had "severely disturbed the social order".
On the weekend, he revealed he had contracted the virus himself after testing negative a number of times.
"Today nucleic acid testing came back with a positive result, the dust has settled, finally diagnosed," he said in a video that was widely watched.
State media is now reporting that the 34-year-old died today. He had a wife and five-year-old daughter. There are reports that his wife is sick as well.
What a tragedy.
The hospital where he worked has issued a statement:
"Our hospital's ophthalmologist Li Wenliang was unfortunately infected with coronavirus during his work in the fight against the coronavirus epidemic. He died at 2:58 am on Feb 7 after attempts to resuscitate were unsuccessful."
Social media in China was inundated with topics such as:
- "Wuhan government owes Dr. Li Wenliang an apology"
- "We want freedom of speech"
Grief-stricken users posted tens of thousands of comments before each topic was removed by authorities.