Coronavirus kills Chinese whistleblower doctor - BBC NewsFeb 16, 2020
well a man who has become incredibly well known around the world because of the corona virus has died this is the
doctorwho tried to warn the medical community about the corona virus he was told by the authorities to shut up before weeks later he was diagnosed with the virus himself here we can see the Chinese BBC reporting on this saying that Dr Li was initially pronounced dead at 10:30 local time on February 6th and that was reported by state media but it became more Complicated initially there was a huge reaction on Chinese social media to this
newsand then journalists and
doctors on the ground who did not want their names used told the BBC that government officials decided to control the flow of information by ordering it to turn to put the doctor on life support even though he was dead and to change the official media reports of death to critical, well, that attempt or closing the story has failed, Chinese official media is now reporting the death of Dr.
Li and the background to this is that Dr. Lee posted a warning in a group chat of doctors in December, he said he had seen seven cases which he thought were they resembled the SARS virus that led to a global epidemic in 2003, then he accused the Chinese police forced him to sign a document in which the authorities said that we solemnly warn you if you continue to be stubborn with such impertinence and continue with this illegal activity , will be brought to justice. and under that dr. Li had written that yes, even in January, officials in Wuhan, where the virus started, were insisting that only those who in concert came into contact with infected animals could contract the virus which was not true and no precise guidance was issued for protect doctors who had been in contact with infected people and then we were told that dr. lead got sick and eventually on january 20th china declared a virus related emergency until the end of january and dr.
Lee posted this photo with the words finally diagnosed, he confirmed he had the virus and photos of dr. Lee in his hospital bed will become one of the defining images of this crisis despite China's efforts to handle this story Isabelle Hilton is from the China Dialogue this is what China does China increasingly seeks to control what people know and that was the problem in the beginning you know if dr. Lee had been listening at the beginning if the authorities had acted at the beginning we wouldn't have seen this virus escaping from Wuhan all over China and then internationally and now you know, as draconian as the measures taken are, you know that this is essentially close the barn. doors for people like dr.
Lee, who were sanctioned, I mean being interviewed by the police, they had to confess to spreading rumors, which can carry a five-year sentence in China, you know, they said that this means that what the government fears most is the information that is inconvenient dr. Lee's death has generated widespread anger on social media. The BBC's Stephanie Haggerty has been watching it. criticized for just doing his job asking him the message he sent to his colleagues telling them to make sure they wear protective clothing and I think there was anger that they reprimanded him just for being a good sensible doctor another thing that struck me after the story today is that many of the reports we have received from the Chinese authorities have been that the people who die from this virus have been elderly people or people with respiratory problems and here we have a middle-aged man apparently in very good condition . health before this virus apparently lost his life and that shakes him to the real risks that this virus carries, yes he was in his late 30s it seems so and according to everyone, although we don't know, he didn't share much about his health before he got sick, he seems to have been a healthy guy, so I guess that's what people are worried about too and we can only go by what the Chinese authorities say. telling us who is dying from this virus and i think the death of someone so high profile and seemingly so young is definitely creating fear as the
chinesemourn doctor li the virus continues to spread there are now over 28,000 confirmed cases worldwide the world 99% of them are in China and 564 deaths have been confirmed.
The World Health Organization also tells us that the virus is in these 24 countries around the world. The highest number of cases outside of China is currently in Japan with 45 and also in Singapore with 20 AIDS. Another country where the virus has reached is the United Kingdom. A third case is being diagnosed. Here's BBC health editor Hugh Pitt. m Singapore, we don't know his nationality, he was isolated at home, he tested positive for a new strain of
coronavirusand was taken to a hospital in London, some of thomas are part of the guidance and trust of Thomas, who has isolation units specialized to care for people with infectious diseases. similar illnesses to the unit in Newcastle caring for two patients already diagnosed and with this diagnosis changes the broader advice the UK is offering yes because you contracted this virus in Singapore no in China the UK government has decided to extend its advice to Travelers returning to the UK before this if you were in China and came to the UK and developed symptoms you were advised to self-isolate and call a helpline or call a doctor they now say for some Asian countries including Singapore and Malaysia if you have returned and developed symptoms you should self-isolate to be a geographical extension of what uk visitors and travel lers were told earlier well on tuesday the uk government advised all british citizens to leave china and Today the Chinese ambassador to the United Kingdom has responded by criticizing that decision saying that it was disproportionate and spread panic we are the vice the british site to take the professional advice of a blue the hue and british sign also agree with us they said they will follow the words does not match the t now the broad view of the world health organization is that it is not good to close Borders argues that people will still travel but start lying about where they came from, which makes the disease harder to manage, although you will listen to the experts, for example, the one we're about to hear from in the UK, who are defending the British approach. turn around and say we're exaggerating this is the country that now has 30,000 people probably who have confirmed has this there's probably a big clinical iceberg there where that 30,000 is the little tip of that iceberg and there could be as many as a hundred thousand people that are currently infected with it and have built two new hospitals with a thousand beds each in about two weeks, I would say that's a pretty forceful reaction to what you must perceive as a pretty critical threat, our China is now committing extraordinary resources to treat To contain this fire, let me show you some of the most recent images that hit the
newsroom, first of all, this is in Who Bay province a place called Yi Chang and as you can see disinfectant is being sprayed all over the streets in an effort to control the virus of course these pictures are from Hong Kong what you can see here on the street is a queue extraordinarily long, thousands of people lining up around the block to try to buy surgical masks to protect themselves from the virus back into the city and you can see the kind of kit medical professionals have to use to treat patients in some of these new purpose-built hospitals that were built in less than two weeks and then we have these extraordinary scenes: they are called fever camps in stadiums, gymnasiums and conference centers that are being equipped with thousands of beds again to care for people who have contracted this virus well among the new confirmed cases today is a newborn baby in the city where the Wuhan virus started and this is important it is the first time a baby this young has contracted the disease and it raises the possibility that the virus could be transmitted from mother to child in the womb, though as you'll hear in this clip, we must stress at this point that it's just theory, like everything We know, a newborn baby is very vulnerable, so the baby may have picked up during the birth process or while the mother was holding the little baby and the mother was having symptoms and was coughing and sneezing.
We know that some viruses can cross the placenta, it's what we call vertical mother-to-child transmission, but we don't know for sure that with this virus right now around the world, at least a dozen laboratories are run by pharmaceutical companies and universities. who are striving to develop a vaccine to try to protect people from this virus and of course the more they know about it the better chance they have of creating the vaccine and the World Health Organization has been outlining today the major gaps in our knowledge of the outbreak, we don't know what its natural reservoir is and we don't properly understand its transmissibility or severity to defeat this outbreak we need answers to all those questions and we hit it PEM again in the international effort to respond to the virus the whu-oh at this stage it has not gone so far as to declare a global pandemic, what that tells us is clearly that it is a matter of great concern in Chi na, but it has not spread rapidly outside of China and indeed England's chief medical officer Professor Chris Witte in a br. iefing was saying as long as it goes on like this other countries including the UK with the NHS which is very well prepared should be able to deal with a few dozen cases or so if it becomes a pandemic and spreads widely in a number of health systems maybe without proper measures to contain it, that's when it becomes a problem for everyone due to the extent of global travel.
More people are arriving and that will put more pressure on health systems. We are not at that stage, but it is very important. say I'm glad you mentioned this phrase because I hear it a lot will it be declared a global pandemic will it not be declared now let's assume it's not just how we describe what's happening if it's declared in such a way that then it triggers certain responses it's how It works, yes, it's going from an epidemic in China to a pandemic that has a technical definition for medical authorities that says it's spreading rapidly and in a sense out of control around the world. in a number of different countries at that stage, the WHO would have to put out new guidelines, but each health care system would have to run only on money through the WHO, which would target those who need it most to try to isolate the cases and addressing them but certainly that's a concern but it's not at that level the way things are it's quite possible that if it stays more or less where it is and then case numbers start to drop then it will drift towards the other side
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