Chinese doctor, among the firsts to warn about coronavirus, passes away
New Delhi : A Chinese doctor who was among the first people to issue a warning about coronavirus outbreak has passed away on Friday due to the infection, announced hospital in which he was admitted.
Identified as Li Wenliang, he used to work as an ophthalmologist in the virus epicentre city of Wuhan. The doctor observed patients with symptoms similar to the deadly Severe Acute Respiratory Syndrome (SARS) outbreak of 2002-03 and raised an alarm.
The 34-year-old sent out a message to colleagues on December 30, but was later among eight whistleblowers summoned by police for "rumour-mongering."
It is believed that he got infected with the virus while he was treating the customers in the hospital and was later hospitalized for the treatment.
The news of his sad demise has been announced by his hospital from the official account on Weibo.
"Ophthalmologist Li Wenliang of our hospital, who was unfortunately infected during the fight against the pneumonia epidemic from the novel coronavirus, died at 2:58 a.m. on February 7, 2020 despite all-out efforts to save him."
"We deeply regret and mourn this."
In China, more than 560 people have lost their lives to the deadly virus and over 10000 people have been diagnosed positive to it. The authorities have locked down many parts of China to ensure that the virus does not spread across the world. However, the coronavirus cases have been reported in at least 14 countries, including India.
There was confusion hours earlier after several Chinese media outlets announced Li's death before quickly taking down their articles and social media posts.
Li's death sparked grief and outrage on Chinese social media, where netizens hailed him as a martyr.
"He is a hero who warned others with his life," one user, an orthopaedic surgeon, wrote on Weibo.