Young Chinese doctor dies of novel coronavirus

Peng Yinhua, a respiratory and critical illness doctor, had planned to get married during the Lunar New Year holiday, but postponed his wedding to help treat coronavirus patients

Agence France-Presse

Published: 7:48 PM February 21, 2020

Updated: 7:48 PM February 21, 2020

EMPTY. This photo taken on February 20, 2020 shows two staff members crossing an empty road as they deliver vegetables to a hospital in Wuhan in China's central Hubei province. AFP photo

BEIJING, China – A 29-year-old doctor at the epicenter of China's new coronavirus outbreak has died from the disease, one of the youngest known fatalities of the epidemic and the latest among medical workers.

Peng Yinhua died Thursday, February 20, after becoming infected while working at Wuhan's Jiangxia district People's No. 1 Hospital, official news agency Xinhua reported.

The respiratory and critical illness doctor had planned to get married during the Lunar New Year holiday, but postponed his wedding to help treat coronavirus patients.

Peng "never got to send out his wedding invitations, which are still in his office drawer," Xinhua said.

At least 8 medical professionals have been killed by the virus, which experts believe is generally most dangerous for elderly patients and those with underlying conditions.

Chinese authorities have not disclosed the age range of fatalities in weeks.

More than 2,200 people have now died and more than 75,000 have been infected in China.

The youngest known confirmed patient is a baby in Wuhan who tested positive for the virus just 30 hours after birth.

Earlier in February, 34-year-old whistleblowing doctor Li Wenliang died of the virus, prompting nationwide grief and anger over how authorities initially punished the Wuhan ophthalmologist's early efforts to sound the alarm on the outbreak.

Liu Zhiming, the director of Wuchang Hospital in Wuhan, died Tuesday morning, February 18.

Chinese authorities say more than 1,700 medical workers have been infected, most in central Hubei province, where Wuhan is located.

Staff have faced shortages of face masks and protective clothing, with some even wearing makeshift body suits and continuing to work despite showing respiratory symptoms, health workers have told Agence France-Presse.

People took to social media once more to mourn Peng on Friday, February 21, with many expressing shock at his youth.

"This is really too tragic: white-haired parents sending off black-haired youth, and his wife-to-be who never got to marry him," one user on the Weibo microblogging platform wrote. – Rappler.com