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Chinese mourners paid tribute to Dr Li Wenliang, who broke the news of the Wuhan virus

Monday, February 8th 2021 - 08:49 UTC
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Li came to fame after blowing the whistle on the new SARS-like virus which had been discovered among patients in Wuhan in December 2019. Li came to fame after blowing the whistle on the new SARS-like virus which had been discovered among patients in Wuhan in December 2019.

Thousands of Chinese mourners took to social media on Saturday and Sunday to pay tribute to Li Wenliang, the doctor who first broke the news of a new mysterious virus in Wuhan, one year after he died from COVID-19.

Li came to fame after blowing the whistle on the new SARS-like virus which had been discovered among patients in Wuhan in December 2019.

Chinese police initially reprimanded him for spreading “rumors.” The 34-year-old doctor later died after catching coronavirus from a patient

Li's death led to an outpouring of grief and agner towards the government for its mismanagement of the crisis.

Chinese authorities subsequently removed critical online comments and launched a campaign to show that they acted efficiently and managed to keep infection rates low. The coronavirus pandemic has, so far, killed almost 3 million people worldwide.

Li's page on the Weibo social media network received thousands of comments over the weekend with people expressing grief as well as giving updates about their own lives.

“Dr. Li, the weather is great today where I live ... everyone around me is trying their best in life, all is good, happy Lunar New Year,” one Weibo user wrote.

“I thought everyone would have forgotten you after a year,” wrote another commenter. “I was wrong, you live forever in the hearts of the Chinese people.”

Beijing has yet to recognize Li's contribution In September, President Xi Jinping presented a list of “heroes” who had played important roles in the “people's war” against the coronavirus, but his name was not included.

The anniversary of the doctor's death coincided with the visit of the World Health Organization to Wuhan to carry out research into the initial outbreak of the virus. The team also visited the Huanan Seafood Wholesale Market where many of the first people who caught the virus worked.

China was initially hesitant to allow the WHO to enter the city, fuelling conspiracy theories about the origin of the virus. Some Chinese authorities and state media have also promoted their own theories that COVID-19 originated in another country before entering China.

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