Dr Li Wenliang  is the Ophthalmologist that  raised the alarm about the novel coronavirus in December, posting 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 SARS-like illness and were quarantined in his hospital in Wuhan. Soon after he posted the message, Li was accused of rumor-mongering by the Wuhan police.

He was one of several medics targeted by police for trying to blow the whistle on the deadly virus in the early weeks of the outbreak, which has sickened more than 28,000 people and killed more than 560. He later contracted the virus himself.

The Global Times announced Li had died in a tweet at around 10:40 p.m. local time Thursday, linking to a report that cited friends and doctors at Wuhan Central Hospital. It deleted the post several hours later. Other Chinese media outlets also deleted their reports of his death, without explanation. The World Health Organization released a message of condolence following the initial reports that Li was dead but later updated their statement to say they did not have any information about the doctor’s status.

 

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