Liu Zhiming, the director of Wuchang Hospital, died of the novel coronavirus today, according to Chinese media
A Hubei health official has said the head of Wuhan’s Wuchang Hospital is still being rescued after media reported he had died of the novel coronavirus.
Dr Liu Zhiming is undergoing resuscitation after falling critically ill, according to the social media account of a director from Hubei Provincial Health Commission.
The conflicted reports resemble the coverage of the death of Dr Li Wenliang, who was punished for sounding the alarm over the coronavirus and lost his life to the disease earlier this month.
Dr Li’s hospital denied reports of his death, only to declare his passing in the wee hours the next day.
The move caused an outpouring of fury from the public, who accused the hospital of covering up truth.
By last Friday, the novel coronavirus had killed six health workers and infected 1,700 medical staff in China, according to Beijing.
The virus, formally known as COVID-19, has so far claimed at least 1,775 lives and infected more than 71,440 globally.
The news of Dr Liu’s death was first reported by Chinese outlet Red Star News before a director from Hubei Provincial Health Commission denied the claims in a social media post. Dr Liu is the director of Wuhan Wuchang Hospital, which is designated to treat coronavirus patients
A director from Hubei Provincial Health Commission claimed Dr Liu was still being resuscitated after uploading a message to mourn the death of the hospital chief. In the photo above, a doctor checks on the conditions of a patient in Jinyintan Hospital on February 13
By last Friday, the novel coronavirus had killed six health workers and infected 1,700 medical staff in China, according to Beijing. Above, medical workers transfer a patient in the isolation wards for the novel coronavirus, known as COVID-19, at a hospital in Wuhan on February 6
The news of Dr Liu’s death was first reported by Chinese news outlet Red Star News.
Red Star News, a news outlet based in Chongqing, said it had confirmed the news from multiple sources.
One of its insiders was the director of the propaganda and education centre of the Hubei Provincial Health Commission.
In a post on Weibo, the Chinese equivalent to Twitter, the official announced Dr Liu’s death.
Part of the post read: ‘Mourn the first hospital director to have sacrificed himself.’
Red Star News also spoke to an unnamed doctor at Wuchang Hospital, who told the newspaper that he was saddened by Dr Liu’s passing.
Another insider said Mr Liu had always been a healthy man and that he was surprised by the news of his death.
Li Wenliang, 34, succumbed to the deadly contagion in the early hours of Friday morning local time, despite attempts to resuscitate him. The ophthalmologist caught the public’s attention after he was reprimanded by police and accused of spreading ‘fake news’ for warning on social media of ‘SARS at a Wuhan seafood market’. His hospital initially denied reports of his death
Mourners pay their respect to deceased Chinese doctor Li Wenliang during a vigil ceremony in Hong Kong on February 7. The public have accused Dr Li’s hospital of trying to cover up truth
About an hour later, the official from Hubei Provincial Health Commission claimed that Dr Liu was still being resuscitated.
He said he had deleted his previous post after hearing from Dr Liu’s family.
The official then explained that he had learned about the misinformation from a mutual friend of him and Dr Liu.
Dr Liu’s hospital is yet to comment on the report.
So far, the most high-profile medical worker killed by the coronavirus has been Dr Li Wenliang, who worked at Wuhan Central Hospital.
The ophthalmologist caught the public’s attention after he was reprimanded by police and accused of spreading ‘fake news’ for warning on social media of ‘SARS at a Wuhan seafood market’ on December 30. Dr Li’s post came two weeks before coronavirus broke out in the city of 14 million which has been locked down since January 20.
He was declared dead by his hospital in the early hours of February 7 after the management of his hospital had denied earlier reports of his death.
The new coronavirus has killed at least 1,775 people and infected more than 71,440 globally
Dr Li’s passing caused an uproar among the Chinese public, who took to the social media to vent their anger towards the government before their posts were quickly censored.
‘He wasn’t allowed to speak. He wasn’t even allowed to die,’ wrote one person on popular messaging app WeChat as she commented on a circulating notice which apparently instructed all media outlets to suppress the coverage of the passing of Dr Li Wenliang.
‘Dr Li Wenliang was only allowed to “die” after most web users had gone to bed,’ condemned another person Weibo.
Dr Li’s family was paid £90,000 after Beijing ruled his death a ‘work place injury’ following outpourings of grief and fury online for the whistle-blower.
Last Friday, a 59-year-old nurse in Wuhan lost her life to the virus.
Liu Fan, a nurse at Wuchang Hospital, died of the coronavirus after contracting the disease at work.
Online accounts suggested that Ms Liu was infected with the disease after failing to get a hazmat suit due to the shortage of medical supplies in Wuhan.
The hospital denied the allegations, adding that the 59-year-old was working in the injection room of a neighbourhood clinic, not on the front line.
In a statement, Wuchang Hospital said it had tried its best to resuscitate Ms Liu, but she died at 6:30pm on Friday.
‘To lose such a good nurse, we are deeply distressed,’ it said.
More than 71,000 have caught the virus, including 454 on a cruise ship quarantined off Japan
Nearly 1,800 people across the world have now died from the killer coronavirus, or COVID-19
The hospital claimed that it had urged all medical workers to protect themselves during work.
It continued: ‘All neighbourhood clinics need to enforce personal preventative measures according to requirement.
‘In this battle, the virus is cruel. We express our deepest condolences for comrade Liu Fan’s passing.
‘We sincerely hope all medical workers remain healthy and will return safe and sound after the battle.’
Those who die of the COVID-19 virus after contracting it on line of duty should be named martyrs, Chinese authorities urged today.
Their family members should receive financial compensation and enjoy priorities in various policies, the Political Work Department of the Central Military Commission said.
Nearly 1,800 people across the world have now died from the killer coronavirus that is rapidly sweeping the planet.
And more than 71,430 have caught the virus, formally known as COVID-19, including 454 on a cruise ship quarantined off the coast of Japan.
Ninety-five per cent of the 2,000 new cases recorded yesterday were diagnosed in Hubei, the deserted Chinese province at the centre of the crisis.