Two Chinese doctors claim police also tried to silence their warnings over the coronavirus, as backlash continues over the death of whistleblower doctor Li Wenliang, according to a report.
Liu Wen of Wuhan Red Cross Society Hospital said he speculated Dec. 30 in a WeChat group with colleagues about the Wuhan markets, where the virus emerged, Chinese outlet Caixin reported.
“To our nursing colleagues: Don’t go wandering around down there,” Li said in the group.
The next day, Liu said he was called in for a talk with his employer, who questioned him about the source of the information, the outlet reported.
Then within days, he was summoned to a local police department, where authorities requested he sign a statement promising not to spread rumors online, the report said.
Xie Linka, who works Wuhan Union Hospital, claimed she also had a run-in with authorities after discussing the epidemic online, the outlet reported.
She said she sent a message about the new virus in a WeChat group to “raise everyone’s vigilance a little,” the outlet said.
The content of the message is unclear, but after screenshots were reposted elsewhere, Xie said she was berated by authorities, according to the report.
Xie said she was warned to stop spreading “false information” about the deadly illness.
The medical professionals are among a group, which includes Li, who tried to sound an early alarm about the new virus — only to be denounced by authorities.
Li, a 34-year-old doctor, died last week from the coronavirus.
Before his death, he was summoned to a police bureau to sign a letter acknowledging that he made false statements about the virus, local media reported.
The deadly coronavirus has killed more than 908 people and led to more than 40,000 cases.