Li Wenliang: Death of Wuhan Doctor Sparks Outpouring Of Anger
7 February 2020 International News
Reports say,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”
News of his death was met with an intense outpouring of grief on Chinese social media site Weibo – but this quickly turned into anger.
There had already been accusations against the government of downplaying the severity of the virus – and initially trying to keep it secret.
Dr Li’s death has fuelled this further and triggered a conversation about the lack of freedom of speech in China.
The country’s anti-corruption body has now said it will open an investigation into “issues involving Dr Li”.
The Chinese government has previously admitted “shortcomings and deficiencies” in its response to the virus, which has now killed 636 people and infected 31,161 in mainland China.
According to Chinese site Pear Video, Dr Li’s wife is due to give birth in June.
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.
The top two trending hashtags on the website were “Wuhan government owes Dr Li Wenliang and apology” and “We want freedom of speech”.