China Doctor Who Warned of Coronavirus Mourned

A Chinese doctor who issued an early warning about the coronavirus outbreak before it was officially recognized died of the virus on Friday, triggering a wave of public mourning and rare expressions of anger toward the government online, Reuters writes.

The death of the doctor who sounded the alarm, ophthalmologist Li Wenliang, came as Chinese President Xi Jinping assured his U.S. counterpart that China was doing all it could to contain the virus that has killed almost 640 people.

China was gradually achieving results and was confident it could defeat the epidemic with no long-term consequences for economic development, Xi told President Donald Trump in a telephone call, according to state television.

China’s central bank vowed further support for the world’s second-biggest economy, with the outbreak expected to knock 2 percentage points, or more, off its first-quarter growth, from 6%, analysts say, Reuters adds.

Chinese stocks had their worst week since May, while elsewhere in Asia, financial markets slipped after several days of gains.

The death of Li, 34, spurred an outpouring of grief on social media. He was one of eight people reprimanded by police in the city of Wuhan, the epicenter of the flu-like contagion in central Hubei province, for spreading “illegal and false” information about it.

Li’s social media messages warning of a new “SARS-like” coronavirus – a reference to Severe Acute Respiratory Syndrome (SARS) which originated in China and killed almost 800 people around the world in 2002-2003 – triggered the wrath of police.

Be the first to comment

Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published.