The widow of Chinese COVID-19 whistleblower doctor Li Wenliang has now given birth to his son.
Li’s widow Fu Xuejie gave birth in the early hours of today (Friday) at a hospital in the city of Wuhan, in the central Chinese province of Hubei, with local reporting mother and baby are both healthy.
Li, who was an ophthalmologist at Wuhan Central Hospital, died at 33 of COVID-19 in the early hours of 7th February and he subsequently was hailed as a martyr.
On December 30th, the doctor had begun warning colleagues of the outbreak in an article he circulated on WeChat.
The Chinese authorities had accused the doctor and seven others of spreading disinformation about a new strand of coronavirus when he was trying to warn experts about the possible extent of the outbreak.
His widow wrote today: “My husband, can you see us from heaven? The last gift you gave me was born today – I will work hard to love and protect them.”
The baby reportedly weighed 3.45 kilogrammes (7.6 lbs) and netizens were quick to wish the mother the best, with one user writing: “We hope this child will carry on the spirit of Dr Li and be a good man.”
Li’s death sparked outrage in China over the country’s response to the outbreak, with citizens calling for accountability from officials who appear to have covered the extent of the virus.
Others called for greater freedom of speech and the Chinese authorities later awarded Li with a May 4th Medal, given to outstanding individuals and groups.
The doctor has said the “more than one voice” should be heard in a healthy society but he was forced to write a letter of “self-criticism” to his employer, comparing his behaviour with Communist Party “regulations”.
The authorities have since apologised to the doctor’s family, saying the response by local police had been “inappropriate” and had “ failed to respect relevant law enforcement procedures”.
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