- Li Wenliang was hospitalised on 12 January after contracting the coronavirus from one of his patients
- He succumbed to the illness on Thursday, 6 February and his parents are infected to
- The doctor first raised an alarm about the coronavirus on December 30, 2019
- He was, however, targeted by health authorities and was later arrested by the police
- The officers then forced him to sign affidavits saying he was spreading rumours
- The doctor then went silent and never spoke of the disease again until January 2020
A whistleblowing Chinese doctor who was among the first to raise concerns about the spread of the deadly coronavirus in Wuhan, China has died from the disease.
Li Wenliang, who was hospitalised on January 12 after contracting the virus from one of his patients, died on Thursday, February 6.
According to a report by CNN, the 34-year-old medic had raised the alarm about the novel coronavirus on 30 December, 2019, but was instead targeted by the police.
"We are very sad to hear the loss of Li Wenliang. We should celebrate his life and mourn his death along with colleagues," an official of World Health Organisation's Health Emergencies programme said.
He had posted in his medical school alumni group on the Chinese messaging app WeChat that seven patients from a local seafood market had been diagnosed with a illness resembling SARS (severe acute respiratory syndrome)..
The patients had been quarantined and Wenliang urged his colleagues to wear protective clothing at work.
Four days later, he was summoned to the local public security bureau and was accused of making false comments and disturbing the social order.
Wenliang, who was one of eight people targeted by authorities for allegedly sharing false information was told that if he continued to talk about the disease, he would be brought to justice.
He agreed not to discuss his concerns in public again and never talked about the disease again.
In early January 2020, he treated a woman with glaucoma without realising she was also a coronavirus patient and appears to have been infected during the operation.
He started coughing then developed a fever and two days later he was in the hospital while his parents also fell ill.
Wenliang's death came barely five days after another doctor, Liang Wudong, 62, died after treating patients in Wuhan amid signs that health workers were overwhelmed by the outbreak
Liang was the first known fatality among staff treating patients in the city, which is under lockdown along with at least a dozen other cities in Hubei state.
His death highlighted the pressure faced by medical staff in the state as social media was flooded with posts showing exhausted workers struggling to cope.
The virus has now so far killed more than 560 people and infected 28 000 in China.
It causes severe acute respiratory infection and symptoms usually start with a fever followed by a dry cough. Most people infected are likely to fully recover - just as they would from flu.
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