Wuhan Hospital Director Dies of Coronavirus

Neurosurgeon Liu Zhiming is the most senior medical professional to die from the virus.

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A hospital director in Wuhan, China has died from the coronavirus as the outbreak spreads to more than 73,000 people worldwide. 

On Tuesday, Liu Zhiming, 51, a neurosurgeon and president of Wuhan Wuchang Hospital, died from virus-related pneumonia. He is the most senior person involved in treating the virus to die so far. 

The hospital Zhiming worked at is one of seven in Wuhan, the epicenter of the virus, designated to treat coronavirus. He is one of six medical professionals in China who have died from the virus, raising concern for their health and safety while working long hours treating the virus. 1,716 medical professionals in China have been confirmed to be infected. 

Zhiming’s death comes two weeks after Dr. Li Wenliang died from complications related to the virus..Wenliang was told by Chinese officials to stop spreading “misinformation” in December after he tried to warn other medical professionals about the potential seriousness of the then-mysterious coronavirus—likening it to SARS. He died of the virus on February 7. Outrage then erupted online over government secrecy regarding the prominent doctor and whistleblower.

On Tuesday, Secretary of State Mike Pompeo called on China to be more open about the coronavirus in a press conference saying, “But we are hopeful that the Chinese government will increase its transparency [and] will continue to share this information.

Since December, at least 1,873 have died and more than 73,000 people have been infected by the virus worldwide. Only six of those deaths occurred outside of mainland China. Covid-19, a disease that has spread as a result of the virus, has claimed at least 98 lives.

In a February 12 press release, the World Health Organization said that more than 300 scientists and researchers were meeting at the Geneva headquarters to assess the next steps for research and prioritizing resources to best contain the outbreak.

According to the WHO, symptoms of the coronavirus include respiratory issues, fever, cough, shortness of breath and breathing difficulties.