Chinese Doctor Who Revealed Coronavirus Outbreak Dies After Contracting Illness Himself

The Chinese doctor who raised the alarm about the new novel Coronavirus has died.

A whistleblowing Chinese doctor who was reprimanded for "spreading rumours" about coronavirus before it was officially recognised has died.

He tested positive for the virus, and later died at the hospital where he worked.

Li Wenliang was an ophthalmologist at a hospital in Wuhan, the city at the epicentre of the outbreak.

He was one of eight people reprimanded by Wuhan police last month for spreading "illegal and false" information about the coronavirus.

He had raised the alarm for the virus as early as December 30 but local police told him to stop making "false comments".

The Chinese state media had initially declared Li dead on Thursday 21:30 local time -- but these statements were later retracted as he was not yet dead.

The Wuhan hospital where Li worked said in a statement on its Weibo account he actually died at 2.58 am local time on Friday morning.

Li, who was 34, had told a group of doctors on Chinese social media messaging platform WeChat seven cases of Severe Acute Respiratory Syndrome (SARS) had been confirmed linked to a seafood market in Wuhan -- believed to be the source of the virus.