Probe report on 'whistleblower' Li Wenliang reveals warning process in early stage of epidemic in Wuhan

By GT staff reporters Source:Global Times Published: 2020/3/19 20:53:27 Last Updated: 2020/3/20 0:43:21

The report released by China's top supervisory body on Thursday about the matter related to the death of Li Wenliang, the "whistleblower" doctor from Wuhan after a 42-day investigation has revealed the initial warning process in the early stage of combating the coronavirus outbreak in the city.

The report said the investigation team found in December 2019 some hospitals in Central China's Hubei Province receiving patients with pneumonia from unknown causes. On December 27, Zhang Jixian, a doctor from the Hubei Hospital of Integrated Traditional Chinese and Western Medicine reported three patients suffering from pneumonia with unknown causes to the hospital. Wuhan's Center for Disease Control and Prevention arranged an epidemiological investigation and test the same day. 

On December 29, the hospital reported another four pneumonia cases with unknown causes, which came from the city's Huanan seafood market.

Experts from Wuhan's health commission launched an investigation and issued two internal documents at around 3:10 pm and 6:50 pm, respectively, on December 30, requesting to treat patients with the pneumonia for unknown causes. 

The documents also ordered an overall investigation into the pneumonia, including a case search and retrospective investigation.

The two documents were later uploaded online by some people several minutes after they were issued.

At about 5:30 pm on December 30, 2019, Dr. Li Wenliang received a message from his colleagues. At 5:43pm, Li forwarded the message of "seven cases of SARS were confirmed in the Huanan seafood market" and "the patients were isolated in the emergency department in our hospital" in his WeChat group. 

At 6:42 pm, Li posted another message saying that "the latest news is that the coronavirus infection has been confirmed, and the virus is being classified. Please do not spread the information and let family members pay attention to prevention."

Li was reprimanded by local police on January 3 for spreading "rumors" about the outbreak of the virus. 

Wuhan police were urged to revoke the reprimand order against Li who died from COVID-19 on February 7 for alleged rumormongering, the investigation team said in the report. 

The investigation team sent by the central government on February 7 following Li's death also asked the local supervisory body to supervise the rectification of the matter, hold relevant personnel accountable, and timely announce the results.

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