Chinese whistleblower, Li Wenliang who raised the alarm and warned the public of a potential “SARS-like” disease in December 2019, has died, according to Wuhan Central Hospital. The confirmation follows a series of conflicting statements about his condition from the hospital and Chinese state media outlets.
Li died of the novel coronavirus in Wuhan in the early hours of Friday morning (local time).
“Our hospital’s ophthalmologist Li Wenliang was unfortunately infected with coronavirus during his work in the fight against the coronavirus epidemic,” the latest hospital statement read.
“He died at 2:58 am on Feb 7 after attempts to resuscitate were unsuccessful.”
According to CNN, Li in December 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 SARS-like illness and were quarantined in his hospital in Wuhan.
Soon after he posted the message, Li was indicted 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 affected more than 28,000 people and killed more than 560. He later contracted the virus himself.
Li was hospitalized on January 12 and tested positive for the coronavirus on February 1.