A Chinese man wears a protective mask as he stands near the Forbidden City on February 6, 2020 in Beijing, China.
Kevin Frayer | Getty Images
One of the first doctors who flagged the new coronavirus outbreak in the city of Wuhan, China has died.
His death triggered a wave of grief and anger among Chinese social media users, many of whom were already frustrated with the government’s handling of an outbreak that has killed hundreds and infected thousands in China.
Ophthalmologist Li Wenliang sounded the alarm in December when he told a group of doctors on Chinese social media about seven cases he saw. He and seven other whistleblowers were reprimanded by the Wuhan police in January for spreading “illegal and false” information.
Li was later infected with the coronavirus himself after treating patients with the virus.
He died at 2:58 a.m. local time, the Wuhan Central Hospital announced on China’s Twitter-like service Weibo. He was 34.
Chinese social media had already been buzzing with anger and concern about Li’s health for several hours. From late Thursday night, state-run media were already reporting that he had died, before the hospital said he was still in critical condition.
The World Health Organization also expressed its condolences, although it said it did not have information on Li’s status as of 2:35 a.m.
The social media outpouring was immense and soon morphed into greater frustration with the establishment and its handling of the coronavirus outbreak which has spread globally.
On Friday morning, the two most popular hashtags on Weibo were related to Li’s death. China’s ubiquitous messaging app WeChat was filled with condolences.
The comments ranged from respect and sadness over the loss of a “hero.” Some referenced lyrics from Les Miserables’ “Do You Hear the People Sing.” Others repeated a quote from Li to Caixin Media, “A healthy society should not only have one voice.”
Some who were more critical of the government included the hashtag #IWantFreedomOfSpeech in their posts. But that hashtag was censored on Weibo.
A screengrab of the hashtag ‘I want freedom of speech’ on Chinese social media after the death of Li Wenliang, a doctor in Wuhan who raised an early alarm on the new coronavirus outbreak.
“The top searches on Weibo, the news (that you see) is all that they want you to see, lies are also made up by what those at the top want to make up, (I’m) losing confidence in the official media. Freedom of speech doesn’t exist at all,” said a Weibo user, according to a CNBC translation.
“It’s really just a show, from the beginning of this epidemic till now, it’s all being made up by one lie after after,” said another.
“I love this country, love the people in this country, the land, lakes and rivers but I do not love the country’s rulers,” posted another.
Later Friday, China’s top anti-corruption agency the Central Commission for Discipline Inspection said in a statement it would send a team to Wuhan to investigate the issues related to Li.
Experts told CNBC last week that the coronavirus outbreak is the greatest political challenge for China’s President Xi Jinping.
Through the end of Thursday, China’s National Health Commission said the outbreak has killed 636 people and infected 31,161 in the country.
— CNBC’s Evelyn Cheng, Wendy Ye, Penny Chen and Iris Wang contributed to this report.
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City of Brandon – August 7th Media Release – City of Brandon –
For the last 24 hours:
Drinking in Public Leads to Multiple Criminal Charges:
At about 11:40 AM Saturday morning, it was reported that a male subject was acting bizarrely in and around the 700 block Rosser Ave. When located in the area, the 21 year-old was drinking an alcoholic beverage so was detained under the LGCCA. He was subsequently found to be in breach of multiple conditions of two separate Probation Orders. Search incident to arrest revealed a machete in his backpack. He disclosed taking an unknown quantity of unknown pills, so was released on appropriate police imposed conditions as he was receiving medical assessment and treatment. He is to appear in Court on October 3rd, facing one count of possessing a weapon and six counts of failing to comply with a Probation Order.
Break & Enters:
An unlocked attached residential garage on Falcon Crescent was entered overnight on Friday and tools were stolen. Some of those were recovered strewn across neighbouring property.
A resident in the 300 block 27th Street reported that the detached garage had been forcibly entered overnight Thursday – Friday. The complainant was unsure if anything had been stolen but the walk-through door frame had been damaged during the incident.
Theft With Threat:
At about 3:50 PM Saturday afternoon, it was reported that a resident in the 700 block 20th Street had been robbed of a bicycle approx. 20 minutes prior, while in his back yard. Police attended and spoke with the victim who related that an unknown male came into his back yard and stole an old bicycle of no value, and brandished a knife while doing so. The suspect left without further incident. The suspect was described as Indigenous in appearance, 6’5”, skinny, wearing a blue hoodie, black bandana and hat. The knife was pulled from the front right pants’ pocket.
A 28 year-old female was encountered in the 700 block 18th Street Saturday evening, with personal effects strewn about a business vestibule. A records query revealed a warrant for arrest for failing to comply with a Probation Order. She was arrested and released on scene with a court date of October 3rd.
Just before midnight Saturday night, Brandon RCMP advised having a 51 year-old male in custody on the strength of a BPS held warrant for arrest for sexual assault. RCMP had attended to a complaint in Glenboro and encountered the accused. He is held in custody and will appear before the court later today.
Motor Vehicle Collision With Injuries:
At 11:15 PM Saturday night, 911 reported a two vehicle collision at the intersection of Russell Street and Madison Crescent. Two occupants were stuck in a vehicle that had rolled over onto its’ side. The investigation revealed that the driver of the rolled vehicle failed to stop at the stop sign. That driver was transported to BRHC by EMS with non-life threatening injuries. The second driver was uninjured.
Several people were detained from separate incidents, for their own safety or to prevent a breach of the peace, due to their level of intoxication. They will be held in custody until sober enough to care for themselves.
RELEASE AUTHORIZED BY:
A/Staff Sergeant Dallas Lockhart, #101
Anyone with information on any unsolved crime is asked to call Brandon Crime Stoppers at 204-727-(TIPS) 8477, www.brandoncrimestoppers.com or by texting BCSTIP and your message to CRIMES (274637). Crime Stoppers pays up to $2000.00 cash for information that leads to the solution of a crime.
CRIME STOPPERS 204-727-TIPS
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