China announces probe into whistleblower doctor's death

Updated: Feb 08, 2020, 08:36 IST | Agencies | Beijing

Li was among eight Wuhan residents who were reprimanded by local police in early January for spreading 'rumours' about the outbreak of the novel Coronavirus in the Hubei province

Chinese Coronavirus whistleblower doctor Li Wenliang who died of the virus on Thursday. Pic/AFP
Chinese Coronavirus whistleblower doctor Li Wenliang who died of the virus on Thursday. Pic/AFP

Beijing: China's anti-graft watchdog on Friday launched a probe into the death of a whistleblower doctor who was reprimanded by police for spreading 'rumours' about the Coronavirus (nCoV) outbreak in China that has claimed over 637 lives, amid an outpouring of global grief and anger over his death. China's ruling Communist Party has sent a high-level team to the epidemic-hit Wuhan city in Central Hubei province to probe Li Wenliang's death on Thursday. Li, 34, was among eight Wuhan residents who were reprimanded by local police for spreading 'rumours' about the outbreak of the Coronavirus in the province.

The doctor died due to the very virus he desperately tried to highlight in December last year through social media and has become a national icon with millions of netizens expressing their grief and anger over the way he was treated. His death is widely reported by the state-run media which had earlier shunned him. A special team will head to Wuhan to investigate issues regarding Li, state-run People's Daily quoted China's top anti-corruption agency as saying on Friday. The action has been approved by the central government and the team will have a comprehensive investigation into matters related to the deceased doctor, China's National Supervisory Commission said in a statement. Li's death has been mourned by the National Health Commission.

"After emergency treatment, Li Wenliang passed away. We deeply regret and mourn Li's death," the Central Hospital of Wuhan said. Li's death triggered an outpouring of comments on China's social media sites as well as concerns from the international community. "We are deeply saddened by the passing of Dr Li Wenliang. We all need to celebrate work that he did on 2019 nCoV," the World Health Organisation (WHO) tweeted. Agencies

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