WUHAN, China — The message was tucked into a bouquet of chrysanthemums left by a mourner at the back of Wuhan Central Hospital to honor a Chinese whistleblower doctor who died from the coronavirus a year ago.
It was simply the number of a Bible verse: “Blessed are those who are persecuted because of righteousness, for theirs is the kingdom of heaven.”
A year ago, Dr. Li Wenliang died from the virus first detected in this Chinese city. A small stream of people marked the anniversary at the hospital. The 34-year-old became a beloved figure in China after it was revealed that he was one the whistleblowers who authorities had punished early for “spreading rumors” about the virus in a social media group.
The Chinese public embraced Li, whose presence online had painted a picture of an ordinary person who was soon to be a father.
China has reported more than 100,300 confirmed coronavirus cases and 4,822 deaths, according to a tally by Johns Hopkins University.
Most patients with COVID-19 have mild to moderate symptoms. However, in a small proportion of patients, COVID-19 can lead to more severe illness, including death, particularly among those who are older or those who have chronic medical conditions.
COVID-19 spreads primarily through respiratory droplets produced when an infected person coughs or sneezes.
Symptoms include fever, cough, and difficulty breathing. Symptoms appear within 14 days of being exposed to an infectious person.
Virginia health officials urged the following precautions:
- Wash your hands often with soap and water for at least 20 seconds.
- Use an alcohol-based hand sanitizer only if soap and water are not available.
- Avoid touching your eyes, nose, and mouth.Cover your mouth and nose with a tissue or your sleeve (not your hands) when coughing or sneezing.
- Clean and disinfect frequently touched objects and surfaces.
- Stay home when you are sick.
- Avoid contact with sick people.
- Avoid non-essential travel.