Li Wenliang, who was among the first batch of doctors to warn about the novel coronavirus, died of the disease on February 7. The 33-year-old ophthalmologist worked at the Central Hospital of Wuhan in Hubei Province, central China, and noticed a report of seven pneumonia cases of unknown etiology on December 30, 2019. He warned in a WeChat group that a virus similar to the one that caused severe acute respiratory syndrome had appeared.
Local police, fearing his warning might cause a false alarm, reprimanded him for spreading rumors on the Internet. At that early stage, few respiratory physicians knew about the novel virus, and research into the virus was just beginning.
Li was later infected by the virus while treating a patient in mid-January. He remained upbeat and said he planned to return to work after recovering to fight alongside his fellow doctors. Unfortunately, his condition worsened and despite attempts at resuscitation, the disease took his life.
After Li's death, the public posted their condolences on social media. An investigation team has been dispatched by the National Supervisory Commission to Wuhan to probe issues related to Li's case.