The widow of a Chinese whistleblower doctor who died after contracting Covid-19 has given birth to their son, according to Chinese media citing a social media post.

Li Wenliang, a 34-year-old ophthalmologist at Wuhan Central Hospital, was one of a group of eight in the virus-epicentre Wuhan who tried to share information about atypical pneumonia cases last December but was reprimanded by police for “spreading rumours.” His death on February 7 sparked a public outcry and spurred demands for greater freedom of speech amid a backlash against the government’s handling of the pandemic.

Fu Xuejie

His wife Fu Xuejie, an optometrist at Wuhan Aier Eye Hospital, reportedly gave birth to a 3.45kg boy on Friday morning. She was said to be in a stable condition. The couple also had a five-year-old son.

“Husband, are you watching from heaven? Your last present to me was born today, I will cherish them dearly,” the message read, alongside an image of the newborn.

Beijing has attempted to deflect criticism of its outbreak response towards local officials and foreign governments accused of spreading misinformation. It, alongside state media, have sought to embrace Li and other medical workers as heroes.

Li Wenliang
Li Wenliang. Photo: Li Wenliang.

First detected in Hubei province, more than 7.5 million people globally have now been infected with Covid-19, leading to at least 421,000 deaths, according to researchers at Johns Hopkins University.

Jennifer Creery is a Hong Kong-born British journalist, interested in minority rights and urban planning. She holds a BA in English at King's College London and has studied Mandarin at National Taiwan University.