On 15 December 2019, the world came to know of the coronavirus outbreak in Wuhan of China when the city reported the first case of the deadly biological agent. Doctors soon found out that this virus was different, fatal and it would spread very fast, but the Chinese government and officials refused to let the doctors speak to the world. One such doctor who knew the truth and who wanted to speak up was Dr Ai Fen. She appeared for an interview on 11 March to tell that the suppression of facts had aggravated the crisis.
So far 122,926 people have been infected all over the world due to the coronavirus spread from Wuhan. 4595 people have died. The doctor who first talked about this virus was persecuted. He died in jail in Wuhan. Some people went missing.
Wuhan’s Dr Ai said that many of her colleagues had died while treating people suffering from this disease. “But in December, when we told the top government officials about this virus, we were asked to remain silent.”
Dr Ai, the director of the emergency department at Wuhan Central Hospital, appeared for an interview with Chinese magazine Renwu.
The doctor said she was threatened “if you talk to anyone about this virus, the consequences will be very bad”. Her partner Dr Li Wenliang, who took up the matter on social media, is currently in jail.
The doctor who couldn’t take it anymore
Dr Ai said, “I know this virus has killed so many people. I’d tell this thing to everyone in the whole world. I will give this information to everyone through whatever means — even if someone puts me in jail.”
Renwu pulled the interview of Dr Ai from their site soon. The interview disappeared also from China’s social media sites. But some Chinese people took screenshots of it.
People of China revolt against their government
Now, the Chinese people are revolting against their government by turning the interview into emoji and morse code and making it go viral on social media of other countries. Producer Tony Lin has shared it on his Twitter handle.
Dr Ai said that on 30 December, she saw many patients with symptoms of a similar illness. “When we examined them in the laboratory, we found that the virus was like the SARS coronavirus.” The doctor took pictures of the report and sent them to her seniors and government officials.
By evening, the images had reached all the doctors of Wuhan. Dr Li put it on social media to tell the world that the new coronavirus was spreading.
At night, a message from the hospital management reached Dr Ai that warned her against spreading the information about the disease. Two days later, she was threatened: “If you tell anyone about it, the consequences will be very bad.”
The lady doctor tried to convince all government officials and hospital management of the necessity to make the people aware of the danger, but no one listened to her.
By 21 January, more than every 1,523 patients had been admitted to the emergency department.
Dr Ai says, “I cannot forget the day when, after the death of a sick boy, the doctors were giving a death certificate to his father and he was staring with despair at the senior doctors.”