By Chris Chia
8 February 2020
Back in December, he saw the medical report of a confirmed case of SARS-like coronavirus. After that, he tweeted to his fellow doctors to watch out for this. However, his tweet went viral.
He was among the eight doctors reprimanded for spreading fake news. On 3 January 2020, he was forced to endorse a warning letter from the Wuhan Public Security Bureau, acknowledging that he spread “fake news about seven SARS-like cases from the Huanan Seafood and Livestock Market”.
Unfortunately, he developed respiratory symptoms on 10 January and has been hospitalized from 12 January until his death yesterday morning. His mother, also a medical doctor, has also contracted the novel coronavirus.
His death sparked a wave of resentments from Chinese online users against the authorities for denying Chinese people the rights to freedom of speech.
Deplorable Healthcare Conditions at Makeshift Hospitals
An online user shared the following on a Chinese social forum:
“My auntie was from the Qiaokou district and was tested positive for the novel coronavirus . . . she was sent to the makeshift hospital at the Wuhan Convention Centre. Here the conditions are bad.”
“It is definitely not what has been reported. The power sockets and electric blanket cannot be used. I shivered during the night sleeping.”
“One thousand people sharing a single toilet. No one cleans the toilet. Urine and feces are outside the toilet bowl.”
“I had breakfast only at 10am. Only a few pieces of food. Not sure if lunch will be served.”
“I did not see any medical doctors or nurses checking on our conditions, nor issue any medications. They are tied up.”
“Breathing equipment is lacking. Hundreds of patients in one enclosed area and there is not a single canister of oxygen. I hear coughing rattles everywhere.”
“Under such conditions, our health will only get worse.”
“We plead to the government to please improve the conditions here. Our illness conditions are light; that doesn’t mean you should take it easy. We have human rights too. All of us want to live on.”
China Coronavirus Confirmed Cases as at 8 February 2020
China reported 31,774 confirmed cases and 722 deaths at 11.59pm, 7 February 2020. However, official figures from the Chinese government may be inaccurate.
Professor Neil Ferguson, director of the MRC Centre for Global Infectious Disease Analysis at Imperial College London, recently commented in a video that there could be 50,000 new coronavirus cases per day in China.
The Epoch Times Singapore reported that Hong Kong University public health experts estimated Wuhan to have at least 75,815 infected cases as of 25 Jan 2020. Current figures are way lower.
The Epoch Times Singapore also reported that China persistently downplayed and underreported death figures from infectious disease from 2010 to 2015.
Local Authorities Seized Medical Supplies from One Another
On 2 February 2020, a batch of face masks ordered by Chongqing (重庆) city from a supplier in Yunnan province was seized and hijacked by Dali (大理) city, Yunnan province, for its “urgent” use.
This batch of face masks was on the road to Chongqing city when it happened. When Chongqing city demands Dali city to return the face masks, officials from Dali city replied that they have been used up.
Earlier on 1 February 2020, Dali city seized 11,200 face masks on the road to Cixi (慈溪) city, Zhejiang province. These masks were ordered by Cixi city from suppliers in Myanmar for Cixi Red Cross Society.