As of February 13, there are now 570 confirmed cases of coronavirus outside of China. The coronavirus is now known as Covid-19. Many Chinese citizens are mourning the death of a doctor that tried to warn colleagues about the coronavirus. 

Li Wenliang was a Chinese doctor who warned about the threat of coronavirus in the country. He gave early warnings to colleagues about the virus, warnings that were quashed by the Chinese authorities. Li, wrote on the social media platform WeChat, that the coronavirus cases seemed similar to SARS. Police reprimanded him for the posts and made him sign a statement acknowledging “false statements.” 

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He died of the illness on February 7. Li is now known as the “Whistleblower Doctor,” for his bravery in taking on the Chinese media and government. China announced it had launched an investigation into his death

The South China Morning Post reported an outpouring of support for Li after news of his death became public. Michael Ryan, director of the World Health Organization’s health emergencies program said in a statement, “We are very sorry to hear of the loss of any frontline worker who is committed to care for patients…we should celebrate his life and mourn his death with his colleagues.” 

Chinese social media platform Weibo was full of messages for Li. One said, “The reprimand of Doctor Li will be a shame in China’s anti-epidemic history. Doctor Li alerted the public at the expense of his life. Wuhan police station still hasn’t recalled that reprimand notice even after his death.”

Scientists seem to think that the coronavirus began in an exotic animal market in Wuhan, where it was passed from an animal to a human.

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You can help stop the incidence of viruses like these by signing this petition to ban the wildlife trade.

Catch up on our coronavirus coverage in One Green Planet, check out these articles:

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