A hospital director in Wuhan, China, has reportedly become the latest medical worker to die from coronavirus strain Covid-19.
Liu Zhiming, the director of Wuchang Hospital, died at 10.30am on Tuesday morning, amid ‘all-out efforts’ to save his life, Chinese state television said.
His death had previously been reported by Chinese media and bloggers late on Monday evening, but the stories were later deleted and replaced with news of him being in a serious condition.
The propaganda department of Hubei Provincial Health Commission then wrote on social media that Dr Liu had been undergoing resuscitation after falling critically ill.
There has been no further update posted by the department since a report on state television confirmed Dr Liu’s death.
Dr Liu’s death has sparked comparisons to that of whistleblower doctor Li Wenliang, who died at the start of February.
Dr Li, who worked at Wuhan Central Hospital, had been reprimanded by authorities for speaking out about the virus on social media in December.Coronavirus cruise ship conspiracy theory as couple are told they have disease
His posts came just two weeks before the virus broke out at a seafood market in Wuhan, Hubei, causing the city to be locked down.
Dr Li is thought to have contracted the virus while treating patients at the start of the outbreak.
Chinese state media was the first to report his death, but the news was then later deleted and his death was denied.
It was then confirmed again by the hospital just hours after the information was retracted.
The confusion in reports triggered an outpouring of anger from the public, with the hospital accused of covering up the truth about Dr Li’s death.Brits could finally be evacuated from coronavirus ship with 454 confirmed cases
According to latest figures, Covid-19 has now infected 72,436 people around the world, and killed nearly 1,900.
It is thought there have been 1,716 health workers infected with the virus in China, with health officials stating that six of them have died.
On Monday, the Chinese Centre for Disease Control and Prevention published a study of earlier cases of the disease, finding that more than 80% of people infected had mild illness.
The number of new infections is also reported to be falling since the start of February.
World Health Organisation Director-General Tedros Adhanom Ghebreyesus has said it is still ‘too early’ to know if the decline will continue.
He said: ‘Every scenario is still on the table.’
The seeming drop in the number of cases follows a large spike last week, after Hubei province began counting cases by doctors’ diagnoses without waiting for laboratory test results.
Health authorities there said the change was meant to get patients treated faster.