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Li Wenliang Dead: Chinese Doctor Who Died From Coronavirus Sparks Outrage

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Chinese doctor, Li Wenliang who tried to warn about the coronavirus outbreak has died

Li Wenliang dies after contracting Coronavirus while treating patients in Wuhan.

Coronavirus death of Wuhan doctor sparks anger and outrage on social media

Dr Li had posted a picture of himself on social media from his hospital bed

Dr Li
Dr Li

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.

How the public reacted to Li Wenliang’s death?

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 an apology” and “We want freedom of speech”.

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 coronavirus.

But he was told by police to “stop making false comments” and was investigated for “spreading rumours”.

“I don’t think he was rumour-mongering. Hasn’t this turned into reality now?” his father, Li Shuying, told the BBC. “My son was wonderful.”

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 fuelled this further and triggered a conversation about the lack of freedom of speech in China.

The country’s anti-corruption body 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 31,198 in mainland China.

Both hashtags were quickly censored as hundreds of thousands of comments had been wiped, according to BBC report.  Only a handful remain.

“This is not the death of a whistleblower. This is the death of a hero,” said one comment on Weibo.

A photo circulating on Twitter reportedly sourced from messaging platform WeChat also shows a message in Chinese saying “Farewell Li Wenliang” written in the snow on a riverbank.

Many have now taken to posting under the hashtag “Can you manage, do you understand?” – a reference to the letter Dr Li was told to sign when he was accused of disturbing “social order”.

These comments do not directly name him – but are telling of the mounting anger and distrust towards the government.

“Do not forget how you feel now. Do not forget this anger. We must not let this happen again,” said one comment on Weibo.

“The truth will always be treated as a rumour. How long are you going to lie? What else do you have to hide?” another said.

“If you are angry with what you see, stand up,” one said. “To the young people of this generation, the power of change is with you.”

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