December 30, 2019 – Dr. Li Wenliang and Others Warns of Unknown Pneumonia Cases in Wechat Groups

December 30, 2019 – Dr. Li Wenliang and other doctors send alerts of unknown pneumonia cases on Wechat groups. Meanwhile, Wuhan Health Committee bans releasing unauthorized information related to the outbreak

At around 5:45 PM, Dr. Li Wenliang, in one of his Wechat groups with his former classmates, revealed that there were 7 diagnosed cases of SARS, found in Hua-Nan Wet Market. 

Li also posted the diagnosis report, and mentioned that the patients have been quarantined in the hospital he was working in, and that the first patient is a fruit wholesaler in the wet market. 

Li reminded everyone to be vigilant and take extra precautions.

Wechat chat logs

At around 7:40 PM, similar information was posted in another Wechat group, with extra information that 1 patient had been diagnosed with pneumonia, so it was possible that the area nearby would be locked down for quarantine. 

A few minutes later, someone added: “Pretty much sure it’s SARS now. Our fellow nurses, please avoid going outside if possible.”

Wechat chat logs

At around 8:47 PM, someone posted in another Wechat group: “Please avoid going to Hua-Nan Wet Market. Several pneumonia cases were found there (possibly SARS). Our hospital has accepted several patients from Hua-Nan Wet Market today”.

Wechat chat logs

At around 9 PM, someone posted in a Wechat group: “(some department) in 2nd Regional Hospital has made the diagnosis of one SARS case”.

Another group saw the following message: 

“The government has not made the decision to publicize the information.

Tongji Hospital has run some tests, and confirmed it is SARS coronavirus. Hua Da (BGI) is afraid of releasing their report.

Our department is the first to report the cases to regional CDC (Wuhan CDC). Those CDC officials came in quite reluctantly, and checked for type A & B influenza. 

We said it’s not influenza. It’s from unknown pathogen.”

Wechat chat logs

On the same day, Wuhan CDC released Notice on Unknown Pneumonia and Its Treatment, which stated the following: “Unknown pneumonia cases have shown up in several medical facilities in our city.”

The notice also stressed that “No individual or organization shall release any information related to the treatment activities without permission.”

Notice on the unknown pneumonia, released by Wuhan Municipal Health Committee