The Chinese whistleblower doctor, who was reprimanded for “seriously disrupted social order” after he sought to warn colleagues about the emergence of the novel coronavirus COVID-19, has been officially absolved by the authorities with an investigation into his death.
As per the reports, Dr. Li Wenliang had warned about the early spread of the disease which was slammed as rumours by the Chinese officials. The Communist Party’s top disciplinary body reportedly said that Wuhan police had acted “inappropriately” by punishing the doctor and had issued “disciplinary punishments” to policemen and offered a “solemn apology” to Li Wenliang’s family.
As per the reports, the National Supervisory Commission said that the local officials “lost control” and showed “ignorance of their job duties”. Li had posted to a group chat with other medics about some patients showing signs of a new SARS-like illness in early December -- well before the Chinese when authorities admitted to the outbreak of a novel coronavirus.
According to the reports, the police detained Li for "spreading false rumours" and forced him to sign a document that he had “seriously disrupted social order” and breaching the law.
The 34-year-old doctor was widely hailed as a hero after reports emerged of the local police targeting him, alleging that he was spreading rumours about the virus when in fact he was trying to raise an alarm on the grave issue while the officials were downplaying the outbreak.
The Chinese doctor Li Wenliang, who is regarded to be the whistleblower of the deadly COVID-19 infection, succumbed to the virus in the early hours on February 7 at the Wuhan hospital. The virus was diagnosed first in December in Wuhan which is known to be the initial epicentre of the virus and the capital of Hubei province in China.
The deadly virus has so far killed 11,305 and over 200,000 infected cases have been reported worldwide. The outbreak took place in Wuhan in January and multiple countries started evacuating their citizens from the country while deciding to restrict the entry of foreigners returning from China. The World Health Organization (WHO) has now declared the novel coronavirus COVID-19 as a 'Pandemic'.
(Pic Credit: AP)