A Wuhan doctor and colleague of coronavirus whistleblower Dr. Li Wenliang died of the Wuhan coronavirus last week, according to Chinese state media reports on Tuesday.
His death marks the first official coronavirus fatality recorded by China in weeks, Agence France-Presse (AFP) reported on Tuesday.
Urologist Hu Weifeng died on Friday after being treated for Wuhan coronavirus and “allied issues” for over four months, Chinese state broadcaster CCTV said. Hu worked at Wuhan Central Hospital and is the sixth doctor from the hospital to have died from coronavirus. The virus was first documented in the Chinese city of Wuhan in late 2019 and has since evolved into a global pandemic responsible for at least 382,451 deaths worldwide.
Wuhan Central Hospital has yet to issue a formal statement addressing Hu’s death on Friday.
In early February, the hospital said at least 68 of its staff members had contracted coronavirus, according to the report. Wuhan Central is perhaps best known as the place of work of late ophthalmologist Li Wenliang, a doctor who tried to warn the public about the danger of the coronavirus during the earliest days of its initial outbreak in December, before succumbing to the virus in February. His death led to international condemnation.
Chinese Communist Party (CCP) authorities arrested and reprimanded Li for his attempts to share the truth about the epidemic in Wuhan, which the government was still attempting to cover up at the time by denying its severity. Ai Fen, an emergency unit director at Wuhan Central Hospital, told Chinese media in March she was punished by authorities for speaking out about the virus early on; she has since gone missing. Ai joins several other whistleblower doctors and medical staff from Wuhan Central who were reprimanded by CCP authorities for trying to warn the public about the virus.