August 13, 2020 | 5:58 PM IST

Chinese grief as Coronavirus whistleblower doctor dies of virus

The Chinese doctor who first warned about the outbreak of the deadly novel coronavirus (nCoV) passed away on Thursday at around 9.30 pm. The 34-year-old doctor Li Wenliang was also suffering from the epidemic.
Wenliang first reported about the virus way back in December 2019 in China’s two-biggest social media platforms WeChat and Weibo groups of his medical school alumni group when it first emerged in Wuhan, China, but was reprimanded by the police for spreading ‘rumours’.
He told his classmates that he first came in contact with the virus, after treating a glaucoma patient who at the time was not aware that he had already been infected with the deadly virus. He had also warned that about seven patients had been quarantined at Wuhan Central Hospital after complaining of respiratory illness that seemed like SARS coronavirus. 

Wenliang checked himself into the intensive care unit of Wuhan Central Hospital on January 12 after complaining of respiratory issues and on February 1 he was diagnosed to be suffering from the virus. The doctor’s death has led to a lot of grief and anger across China.
Meanwhile, a team of scientists led by an Indian Professor SS Vasan has successfully grown the first batch of the virus outside China in the high-security lab of the Commonwealth Scientific and Industrial Research Organisation (CSIRO) in Australia.

Last week, the CSIRO Dangerous Pathogens team received an isolated virus from a human sample from Australia’s Doherty Institute.
Principal investigator of CSIRO’s preclinical response project in partnership with the Coalition for Emergency Preparedness Innovations (CEPI) to accelerate the preclinical evaluation of vaccines said, “It is quicker to work with the real virus and expedite preclinical studies on the relative efficacy of vaccine candidates under development.
Professor Vasan added that his lab is now working on further increasing the virus stock in order to create an anti-virus vaccine.

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