The doctor who warned of the Virus: China mourns the loss of a hero

“Hopefully the sky is free of viruses and admonitions,” is a comment on the death of the Chinese physician, Li Ruifeng in social media. The 34-Year-old is the Hero of the people. He had already warned at the end of December in front of a cluster of infections with a dangerous Virus which apparently came from a market in wild animals in the city of Wuhan. However, the police warned him and other doctors because of the spread of “rumors”. You had to sign that they reveal nothing more about the outbreak.

A few days later, the eye doctor himself infected in the case of a patient who he treated for a green Stars and the sudden fever got. He died on Thursday evening behind a child and pregnant woman. “We regret his death deeply, and mourn,” said the Central hospital in Wuhan. His fate symbolizes for many Chinese, the tragic consequences of the initial cover-up and the slow reaction of the authorities – in any case, a chronic disease of the Communist system.


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The case is politically explosive for state and party chief Xi Jinping. How much of the demonstrated Central Committee, by immediately on Friday morning, the investigation team in the Central Chinese metropolis was dispatched to investigate “the issues of the people,” the incidents. The Propaganda is turned on immediately and the state TV tried to the mood of the people reflect by Li praised Ruifeng as a “simple hero” and an “excellent representative” of the medical profession.

His “professionalism” and his “medical ethics” had induced him to bring in the early days of the epidemic, a preventive warning to the Public. The state TV is celebrating him as a “Whistleblower”, even though the Communist System encouraged anyone else to reveal problems or grievances. But the Propaganda is trying to control the public opinion.

“Some of the experiences that Li Ruifeng in his life has made, reflect on our shortcomings and deficits in the prevention and control of epidemics,” said the state television. “We need to learn from each other.” Also, the crisis management needed to be improved. Just as it had formulated this week, the Politburo chaired by Xi Jinping, already. The message is: We hear you, we are with you, and take care of such problems.

The Propaganda knows that you have to capture the Anger of the people, and taxes, because the outrage otherwise, against the System might. Because the sympathy for the death of the doctor has covered the whole country. Heroic had said Li Ruifeng from the sick bed in a TV Interview, to be after his recovery again in the fight against the Virus falls. “Now, where the epidemic continues to spread, I want to be a deserter.”

“He has really saved a lot of people”

A Student told a magazine, as the doctor on the 30th. December had him and his fellow students warned of a return of Sars. The pandemic of Severe Acute respiratory syndrome had plugged in 2002/2003, about 8,000 people, 774 of them died. “Your families must give prevention more attention”, I Li reminded Ruifeng. They would not have spread the message in China is widespread WeChat program, because it is monitored by the police. But they would spread the warning via word of mouth. Many Doctors would have protected better against the Virus. “He has really saved a lot of people.”

Li no case was Ruifeng. Many Doctors knew at the end of December of the accumulation of strange virus cases in the hard-hit metropolis. This weekend it is exactly two months, this all started: The first contagion dated Chinese authorities retroactively to the 8. December. Many failures especially in the first few weeks have helped that the Virus was a serious threat with currently more than 31,000 cases in China and an “international emergency” with almost 300 cases in more than two dozen other countries.

There were also early indications that the Virus is transmitted from person to person. The Doctor Lu Xiaohong from Hospital no. 5 in Wuhan learned at 25. In December of suspicion of infection of medical staff in two hospitals – almost a month before the authorities warned officially before. In a letter to the newspaper “Zhongguo Qingnianbao,” writes Lu Xiaohong: “it became clear to Me that the location could be difficult.”

The big question was: How can protect Doctors and nurses? “Viral pneumonia, there is every year, but I learned from colleagues that the Virus was different this time,” said Lu Xiaohong. Since you’ve even joked that maybe it was time to buy a protective mask. “The more I thought about it, the more I had the feeling that something is not right.” On 2. January you have suggested, for appropriate patients, a own fever Department and quarantine to arrange. The hospital management agreed to.

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What but it gave a false sense of security, and to the confusion of the medical staff contributed, were simultaneously repeated assurances from the health authorities, a person-to-person it had not been proved. The same mantra was repeated-like, the disease is “preventable and controllable”. It was only at 20. January.

At the beginning of January is also the time of the people’s Congress of the 58 million inhabitants was counted in the province of Hubei. The annual session of the local Parliament is a solemn political Ritual, the power elite together. Bad news is not reported in a System such as in China, already at ordinary times like to go up, this is the time of this meeting all the more.

While the doctor Li Ruifeng already oxygen for Breathing was needed, wrote one of the judges of the Supreme court at the end of January in a rare show of openness in a comment to the honour of the rescue, The epidemic would be easier to get in the handle, “if the Public believed the “rumors” at the time, and … started to have disinfection, to wear masks, strict, and to shun the wild animal market.”

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