AGENCIES, Hong Kong: A Wuhan doctor who attempted to warn the public about a potential new coronavirus outbreak died on Friday from the infection, as the number of virus-related deaths spiked taking the total in China to more than 600.
The number of confirmed cases globally stood at 31,420, with more than 31,000 of those in mainland China. The number of cases in China grew by 3,143, or around 11%, on the previous day.
Li Wenliang, 34, was a Wuhan doctor who was widely hailed as a hero after it emerged he was targeted by police for spreading “rumours” about the virus, when he was in fact sharing accurate information to try and raise the alarm.
Wuhan Central Hospital, where Li worked as an ophthalmologist, announced his death in the early hours of Friday morning, leading to an outpouring of grief and anger online. This was made worse by initial confusion as state media first published then retracted reports of his death, leading to allegations they were trying to cover it up.
The anger over Li’s death comes as the Chinese authorities signalled an escalation in how they control the virus, after an initial lockdown of Wuhan and neighbouring cities failed to contain the outbreak within Hubei province.