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Health & Environment

Death of whistleblower doctor unleashes fury in China


Li Wenliang

Li Wenliang

With the coronavirus spreading around the world, Chinese leader Xi Jinping told President Trump in a phone call Friday that his government is confident about and capable of defeating the epidemic.

Anger was swelling online in China over the death of a whistleblower doctor who tried to sound the alarm about the deadly outbreak but was silenced by Communist Party authorities.

On social media, users hailed Li Wenliang as a hero, after the ophthalmologist was reported to have died of the virus late Thursday.

Social media users also began voicing rare fury toward the Chinese government and demanding freedom of speech, echoing the sentiments of the 1989 Tiananmen uprising, as censors moved to squelch the dissent.

Meanwhile, Chinese researchers said they have found evidence linking the spread of coronavirus to the pangolin, a mammal illegally trafficked in huge numbers for the supposedly healing qualities of its scales and meat.

Here are the latest developments:

● Chinese health officials say they confirmed more than 34,000 cases of the coronavirus, about 6,100 of which were severe. The death toll surpassed 720, with fatalities almost entirely confined to mainland China.

● An additional 44 people on board the Diamond Princess cruise liner, which has been quarantined in Japan, have tested positive for coronavirus, bringing the total to 64.

● Another cruise ship, the Westerdam, is at sea, and its crew is unsure where to go next, after being denied entry to the Philippines, Japan and South Korea. Passengers blame an ill-advised port stop in Hong Kong, where the boat took on many new passengers.

● What do we really know about the coronavirus? The Washington Post’s Carolyn Y. Johnson and Lena H. Sun tackle the biggest questions here.

Source: Washington Post – Death of whistleblower doctor unleashes fury in China; more trouble for cruise passengers

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