A doctor from China’s Wuhan, who was one of the first to try to warn of a coronavirus outbreak but was accused of spreading false information, has died of the disease, the Global Times reported. Dr. Li Wenliang of Wuhan Liang Central Hospital wrote to colleagues in the WeChat social network on December 30 that seven SARS cases had been confirmed in the Huangan seafood market. He did not know that the new coronavirus belongs to another strain. Li’s post spread across various Chinese social media, it immediately went viral as people were increasingly afraid of the return of SARS.
The next day, Li and seven other doctors who shared messages on social media about the epidemic were being called to the police in Wuhan city. They were warned and told not to make “false statements online” that could seriously undermine public order. “Chinese doctor Li Wenliang … died of coronavirus on Thursday in Wuhan,” the Global Times reported. On 31 December 2019, Chinese authorities reported an outbreak of unknown pneumonia to WHO in Wuhan City, Hubei Province. Experts have identified the pathogen – coronavirus 2019-nCoV. In China, more than 28,000 people were infected, 563 of them died.