Washington [US], October 7 (ANI): The death mystery of a China-based ophthalmologist who had warned his colleagues about early COVID-19 infections in early 2020, went more tricky after the latest report showing a discrepancy in the timing of the doctor's death came to light by the US-based media outlet, The New York Times.
Dr Li Wenliang, a 34-year-old doctor from Wuhan died of a COVOID-19 infection in February.
According to the hospital at 4 am, Dr Li died on February 7 at 2:58 am, but conflicting messages about Li's condition had surfaced on media outlets from February 6, the day when he went into cardiac arrest at around 7:20 pm.
Some media outlets released the information which later deleted, as per The New York Times. State-run publication Life Times said that he had died at 9:30 pm, while another said that he died at 10:40 pm on February 7.
In an exclusive interview with one of Dr Li's colleagues, the New York Times's Visual Investigations team highlighted several aspects of the time duration when Li was in the hospital.
"I think Dr. Li Wenliang had already died by the time I saw him around 9 pm on February 6," Li's colleague said during the interview. "They dragged their feet for so long over the announcement. It's like the hospital really did not treat us as human beings," he said.
Li was widely regarded in China as a heroic truth-teller. He had been punished by the authorities for trying to warn others about the virus, and then, in a terrible turn, had become severely sickened by it.
Weeks later, he would become China's most famous fatality of the emerging pandemic. He was 34, according to The New York Times.
In early 2020, the virus was spreading rapidly in Wuhan, the city in China where the pandemic first took hold. Dr. Li checked into the hospital on January 12 with a fever, a lung infection and other symptoms.
According to several of the doctors who reviewed his medical records for The Times, by the third day, Dr. Li was seriously ill and required oxygen support.
"He was infected with an early variant of the virus, so the illness started acutely, its course was life threatening and it developed very fast," said Dr Wu Yuanfei, a virologist at UMass Chan Medical School in Worcester, Massachusetts, said, reported The New York Times.
A little over a week into Li's hospital stay, his doctors wrote that he was struggling mentally and diagnosed him as being in a depressive state.
But on February 5, Li's condition deteriorated severely. By the morning of February 6, doctors wrote in the progress notes that Dr Li was at risk of multiple organ failure, according to The New York Times.
On February 6, Li went into cardiac arrest at around 7:20 pm. (ANI)