BBC: Coronavirus - Li Wenliang: Death of Wuhan doctor sparks outpouring of anger

7 February, 2020

Extracts below. Full text here: https://www.bbc.co.uk/news/world-asia-china-51409801

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Li Wenliang: Death of Wuhan doctor sparks outpouring of anger

The death of a Chinese doctor who tried to warn about the coronavirus outbreak has sparked an unprecedented level of public anger and grief in China.

Li Wenliang died after contracting the virus while treating patients in Wuhan.

Last December he sent a message to fellow medics warning of a virus he thought looked like Sars - another deadly coronavrius.

But he was told by police to "stop making false comments" and was investigated for "spreading rumours"...

Chinese social media has been flooded with anger - it is hard to recall an event in recent years that has triggered as much grief, rage and mistrust against the government...

"Do not forget how you feel now. Do not forget this anger. We must not let this happen again," said one comment on Weibo.

"The truth will always be treated as a rumour. How long are you going to lie? What else do you have to hide?" another said...

Dr Li, an ophthalmologist, posted his story on Weibo from a hospital bed a month after sending out his initial warning.

He had noticed seven cases of a virus that he thought looked like Sars - the virus that led to a global epidemic in 2003.

On 30 December he sent a message to fellow doctors in a chat group warning them to wear protective clothing to avoid infection.

Four days later he was summoned to the Public Security Bureau where he was told to sign a letter.

In the letter he was accused of "making false comments" that had "severely disturbed the social order". Local authorities later apologised to Dr Li.

In his Weibo post he describes how on 10 January he started coughing, the next day he had a fever and two days later he was in hospital. He was diagnosed with the coronavirus on 30 January...

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Best wishes, Neil

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HIFA profile: Neil Pakenham-Walsh is coordinator of the HIFA global health campaign (Healthcare Information For All - www.hifa.org ), a global community with more than 19,000 members in 177 countries, interacting on six global forums in four languages. Twitter: @hifa_org FB: facebook.com/HIFAdotORG neil@hifa.org