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Whistleblower dies from coronavirus

by Onize Ohikere
Posted 2/07/20, 12:12 pm

In December, China reprimanded Li Wenliang and seven other doctors for warning friends on social media about the growing threat of the new coronavirus. On Friday, Li died of the virus at the Wuhan Central Hospital, where he worked as an ophthalmologist. He was 34.

How are people responding? Li’s death fueled growing frustration over the Chinese government’s initial attempt to hide the outbreak. “There should be more openness and transparency,” Li had told The New York Times. Hundreds of thousands of users left messages under Li’s last post on the Chinese microblogging site Weibo, but government censors quickly deleted some of the more critical posts.

Several other nations are still scrambling to control the outbreak. On Friday, Japan reported 41 new cases on a quarantined cruise ship and turned back another ship with more than 2,000 people aboard.

Dig deeper: Read June Cheng’s report on how Chinese churches are responding to the outbreak.

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Onize Ohikere

Onize is WORLD's Africa reporter. She is a World Journalism Institute graduate and earned a journalism degree from Minnesota State University-Moorhead. Onize resides in Abuja, Nigeria. Follow her on Twitter @onize_ohiks.

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  • Big Jim
    Posted: Fri, 02/07/2020 03:12 pm

    I wonder if he died of natural causes ;-|

  • RK
    Posted: Sat, 02/08/2020 05:16 pm

    For all of the concerns about reining in the press, I think other press members can counter anything that seems inaccurate. My fear is if the media/press are reined in by the government, who is the watchdog for the government?