ROME – As front-line healthcare workers care for patients with COVID-19, they commit themselves to difficult, draining work and also put themselves at risk of infection. More than 100 throughout the world are said to have died.
Amongst the deceased was Li Wenliang, a Chinese doctor who tried to issue the first warning about the deadly coronavirus outbreak.
Dr Li contracted the virus while working at Wuhan Central Hospital.
He had sent out a warning to fellow medics on 30 December but police told him to stop “making false comments”.
Dr Li, an ophthalmologist, posted his story on Weibo from a hospital bed a month after sending out his initial warning.
The 34-year-old had noticed seven cases of a virus that he thought looked like Sars – the virus that led to a global epidemic in 2003.
On 30 December he sent a message to fellow doctors in a chat group warning them to wear protective clothing to avoid infection.
Four days later he was summoned to the Public Security Bureau where he was told to sign a letter. In the letter he was accused of “making false comments” that had “severely disturbed the social order”.
He was one of eight people who police said were being investigated for “spreading rumours” Local authorities later apologised to Dr Li.
In his Weibo post he describes how on 10 January he started coughing, the next day he had a fever and two days later he was in hospital. He was diagnosed with the coronavirus on 30 January.
Other health workers who have succumbed to the virus
Abdullah Abbasi, age unknown, Infectious Disease Specialist, Gorgan, Iran
Luigi Ablondi, 66, Epidemiologist, Former General Manager of the Crema Hospital, Cremona, Italy
Abdel Sattar Airoud, 74, General Practitioner, Piacenza, Italy
Vincenza Amato, 65, Medical Director Responsible UOS Hygiene Public Health of the Department of Hygiene and Health Prevention, Bergamo, Italy
Larrice Anderson, 46, Nurse, New Orleans East Hospital, New Orleans, Louisiana
Malik Ashtar, 50, Nursing Staff, Gilgit, Pakistan
Gaetano Autore, 68, General Practitioner, Naples, Italy
Madhvi Aya, 61, Physician Assistant, Emergency Medicine, Woodhull Medical Center, Brooklyn, New York
Israel Bactol, 34, Cardiologist, Philippine Heart Center, Metro Manila, Philippines
Domenico Bardelli, 75, Dentist, Lodi, Italy
Manuel Barragan, 63, General Practitioner, Cordoba, Spain
Diego Bianco, 47, Paramedic, Lombardy, Italy
Jean-Marie Boegle, 66, OBGYN, Mulhouse, France
Massimo Borghese, 63, Specialist in Otolaryngology and Phoniatrics, Naples, Italy
Giuseppe Borghi, 64, General Practitioner, Lodi, Italy
Araceli Buendia Ilagan, 63, ICU nurse, Jackson Memorial Hospital, Miami
Antonio Buonomo, 65, Medical Examiner, Naples, Italy
Antonino Buttafuoco, 66, General Practitioner, Bergamo, Italy
Mario Calonghi, 55, Dentist, Brescia, Italy
Giulio Calvi, 72, General Practitioner, Bergamo, Italy
Andrea Carli, 69, General Practitioner, Lodi, Italy
Ricardo Castaneda, 64, Psychiatrist, New York City
Marino Chiodi, 70, Ophthalmologist, Bergamo, Italy
Marcello Cifola, age unknown, Otolaryngologist, Italy
Aurelio Maria Comelli, 69, Cardiologist, Bergamo, Italy
Benedetto Comotti, 74, Hematologist, Bergamo, Italy
Francesco Dall’Antonia, 82, Former Primary of Surgery I of Vicenza, Vicenza, Italy
Jeannie Danker, 60, Director of Radiology, OSU Wexner Medical Center, Columbus, Ohio
Siamak Dayushli, age unknown, Pediatrician, Bandar-e Anzali, Iran
Francesco De Alberti, died on March 28, 2020; Former OMCeO President, Lecco, Italy
Francesco De Francesco, 82, Retired, Former Hospital Doctor, Sculptor and Painter, Bergamo, Italy
Domenico De Gilio, 66, General Practitioner, Lecco, Italy
Amged el-Hawrani, 55, Ear, Nose, and Throat Specialist, Queen’s Hospital Burton, Derbyshire, UK
Adil el-Tayar, 63, Transplant Surgeon, Isleworth, west London, UK.