There are several reports which claimed that even though doctors in Wuhan alerted Chinese authority about the Novel Coronavirus outbreak before it turned into an epidemic and soon declared as a pandemic, no one paid enough attention nor they were asked to stop spreading rumours.

A top-ranked doctor in Wuhan, Li Wenliang ophthalmologist was the first healthcare official who warned about the COVID-19 at an early stage. Unfortunately, the doctor died in February at the age of 34 after being attacked by the virus which killed more than 10, 000 people in the world till now. But after months since the outbreak, Chinese authority has accepted their fault and apologised to the family of Li.

The whistleblower

Li, who is now known as the Novel Coronavirus whistleblower, spoke up about the COVID-19 outbreak in the city of Wuhan, China. He was initially punished by local authorities as they said the doctor was spreading rumours after he tried to warn the government about the emergence of the virus which has now infected 246,444 people globally.

Li Wenliang
Late Wuhan doctor Li Wenliang Twitter grab

The Director of the emergency department at Wuhan Central Hospital, Ai Fen posted information about the new Coronavirus on social media WeChat which included an image of a diagnostic report of a patient which showed that the person had a pneumonia infection caused by a Sars-like coronavirus. The information was shared by the late doctor Li. But he was silenced by the Chinese authorities. After the death of Dr Li, people started to accuse the Chinese government of a coverup.

The investigation

After conducting an investigation, it was found that Wuhan authorities acted "inadequately" when they silenced the late Dr Li and failed to follow "proper law enforcement procedure."

However, as per the report, Beijing investigators did not explain what the correct response should be. But they appreciated Dr Li's efforts and characterized it as a positive influence that helped to raise awareness. It should be noted after the investigation report was published Wuhan police announced that two officers have been disciplined as they were responsible for improperly reprimanding Dr Li.