MOSCOW (Sputnik), Tommy Yang – Wednesday marks the one-year anniversary of Chinese physician Li Wenliang first warning the world about seven sufferers being contaminated with a virus, which turned out to be the brand new coronavirus that triggered the worldwide pandemic.
At 5:43 p.m. (09:43 GMT) on 30 December final yr, Li shared an image of the lab outcomes of a affected person who was confirmed to be contaminated by a coronavirus, much like the one which brought on the lethal Severe Acute Respiratory Syndrome (SARS) epidemic in China in 2003, in a social media group chat for medical doctors in Wuhan.
Li’s message unfold rapidly amongst native social media teams and triggered heated discussions amongst residents, as most individuals in China had vivid recollections of the devastation and chaos throughout the SARS epidemic in 2003.
A day after the message was revealed, the Wuhan Health Commission issued a press release on its official web site that mentioned that the town was investigating 27 viral pneumonia sufferers.
“As of now, we have not observed obvious signs of human-to-human transmission and no healthcare personnel was found to be infected,” the assertion mentioned.
At the identical time, the Wuhan police summoned Li and 7 different medical doctors within the metropolis and issued them an official warning for spreading what was known as false rumours.
Chinese state media, led by the China Central Television (CCTV), repeated the assertion from Wuhan police concerning the eight “rumourmongers” all through the subsequent day and warned others in China to not imagine in such “false rumours.”
While the brand new coronavirus was spreading within the metropolis, native authorities in Wuhan continued to disclaim the actual fact the virus might be transmitted between people, an essential indicator of whether or not the brand new virus is contagious and may lead to an enormous epidemic.
Although a bunch of prime Chinese medical consultants was dispatched from Beijing to research the scenario in Wuhan, the consultants made the conclusion that “they found no evidence of the new virus could be transmitted between humans,” the Wuhan Health Commission mentioned in a press release on 10 January.
Subsequent stories from the Wuhan Health Commission on the epidemiological scenario within the metropolis continued to state that there was no proof that the brand new virus was succesful of being transmitted between people.
On 20 January, Chinese President Xi Jinping issued a directive urging native authorities in Wuhan to take the brand new outbreak severely.
After Xi’s directive was revealed, the official Xinhua News Agency lastly quoted Zhong Nanshan, a prime Chinese epidemiologist, as saying that the brand new coronavirus was confirmed to have the ability to transmit between people and a quantity of medical doctors and nurses had already been contaminated.
The Wuhan authorities started to take strict measures to attempt to include the continued outbreak and positioned all the metropolis beneath lockdown on January 23.
During an interview with the CCTV on January 27, Wuhan Mayor Zhou Xianwang tried to clarify why the town didn’t reveal ample details about the brand new coronavirus in a well timed method.
A health care provider from the Wuhan Union Hospital mentioned in early February that about 14 medical doctors and nurses have been confirmed to be contaminated by a affected person at his hospital as early as January 15. However, superiors on the hospital prohibited workers members from releasing this info to the general public.
The preliminary cover-up and delayed containment measures turned Wuhan into the world’s first COVID-19 epicentre.
A serological survey launched by China’s Center of Disease Control this week revealed antibodies to SARS-CoV-2 in about 4.43 % of Wuhan residents. In a metropolis of 14 million individuals, such an an infection charge meant the quantity of contaminated residents might be round 620,000, which was about 10 occasions greater than the official COVID-19 case depend of 50,333.
Unfortunately, Li, the whistle-blower physician, started to cough and developed a excessive fever in early January. On 1 February, Li was confirmed to have contracted COVID-19. He died every week later.
Chinese web customers continued to commemorate Li for warning the general public concerning the new lethal coronavirus since then.
This Wednesday, they flooded Li’s Weibo account with messages expressing gratitude towards him.
“Happy New Year! Thank you!” many Weibo customers wrote.
As of Wednesday, Li’s final submit on Weibo has attracted over 3.8 million “Likes” and over a million feedback.