Dr. Li Wenliang — the Chinese whistleblower doctor who warned the public of a potential “SARS-like” disease in December 2019 — has died of coronavirus in Wuhan today, according to several state media reports.
Li was questioned by local health authority, and was later summoned by Wuhan police to sign a reprimand letter in which he was accused of “spreading rumors online” and “severely disrupting social order.”
He was hospitalized on Jan. 12 after contracted the virus from his patient, and he was confirmed to have the coronavirus on Feb. 1.
The World Heath Organization tweeted about his death:
Wuhan builds 2nd new hospital for coronavirus patients
Another medical facility designed to treat coronavirus patients has been built in Wuhan, the epicenter of the outbreak. The facility will open today, according to Chinese state-media.
“It’s official! Leishenshan, another newly built hospital specially designated to treat #coronavirus patients, officially opened on Thursday. It will provide 1,600 beds where about 2,000 medical staff can work to fight the disease,” state-run Global Times said on its Twitter page.
One new hospital, Huoshenshan Hospital, was handed over to the military to begin operations on Monday. Both that hospital and this second new one were built in a matter of days.
What we know so far about the coronavirus outbreak
n late 2019, reports emerged of a mysterious illness in China. It was later identified as a new type of coronavirus — and now, weeks later, authorities are still trying to stop the virus from spreading further.
Here’s where things stand this morning:
- How many cases are there? There have been 28,275 cases and 565 deaths around the world. All but two of the deaths have been in mainland China (The Philippines and Hong Kong have each seen one death).
- The youngest victims: Two newborn babies in Wuhan, China, have been infected with the coronavirus, according to China’s state broadcaster CCTV. The youngest baby was diagnosed at just 30 hours old. The baby’s mother was also infected with the virus, and CCTV suggested that “there may be mother-infant transmission,” where the mother passes the virus on to the baby in utero.
- Evacuations to the US: Planeloads of Americans fleeing the outbreak in China are arriving at military bases across the United States this week on what could be the final chartered flights. In the US, there are now 12 confirmed cases — the latest one reported in Wisconsin yesterday.
- Cruise ship lockdowns: More than 7,300 people are being quarantined on two cruise ships off Hong Kong and Japan after concerns passengers and crew were inadvertently exposed to the Wuhan coronavirus by infected passengers.