REPORTED BY: THE WALL STREET JOURNAL, Chao Deng, Josh Chin 134 mins ago
WUHAN, China—A Chinese doctor who became a folk hero after he was arrested for warning about the dangers of the deadly new virus now spreading around the world died on Friday after becoming infected with it.
Li Wenliang, a 33-year-old ophthalmologist based in Wuhan, the epicenter of the outbreak, had captivated the country and triggered an extraordinary outpouring of emotion as he ailed.
In social-media posts, many Chinese directed their frustration at government officials who many believe didn’t respond quickly enough despite clear evidence of the developing epidemic. Millions of people flocked to a live stream about Dr. Li that was run by local media outside the hospital where he was being treated.
“An all-out effort to save him was unsuccessful,” the hospital said. “We deeply grieve the loss.”
The World Health Organization on Thursday reported 28,285 confirmed cases globally, including more than 3,700 new ones. A total of 565 people have died, it said. Singapore, which has the second-largest number of cases outside China, reported two new infections, including one with no apparent link to China.
Chinese state media reported Thursday night that Dr. Li’s heart had stopped at around 9:30 p.m., and that he was immediately put on life support. The hospital where Dr. Li was being treated later said authorities were still fighting to keep him alive and then announced his death at 2:58 a.m. Friday.
After initial reports of Dr. Li’s death began circulating online late Thursday in China, including from the official social-media accounts of Communist Party publications, he was mourned and celebrated as a symbol of the public’s determination to find answers to still-unanswered questions about how officials first responded to the outbreak.
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