After the death of the whistleblower doctor, a citizen journalist who was reporting on coronavirus from Wuhan, China has been missing since Thursday, February 6. 

Chen Qiushi

Defying censorship of the government, Chen Qiushi's reportage on the deadly virus outbreak has unveiled the situation of coronavirus in China to the world.

'He went to hospital with his friends but never returned'

According to reports, Chen's family members have claimed that he went to a hospital with his friends on Thursday but never returned.

In a video posted on Chen's Twitter account, his mother said, "I am Chen Qiushi's mother. Please, online friends and especially those in Wuhan, please help me and find Chen Qiushi and find out what happened to him."

Death of Wuhan ophthalmologist Li Wenliang

Li Wenliang
Li Wenliang

Incidentally, Chen's disappearance came on the same day as the death of Wuhan ophthalmologist Li Wenliang — who first blew the lid on the coronavirus outbreak.

Li was the first to report about the virus way back in December last year when it first emerged in Wuhan, the provincial capital of China's central Hubei province. He died last Thursday after he was infected by the coronavirus.

After Li's death and Chen's disappearance, anger has grown in China over the government handling of the coronavirus outbreak.

'Chen Qiushi cannot become another Li Wenliang'

Citizens took to social media to express their rage against a system prioritising its image over information dissemination.

"Chen Qiushi cannot become another Li Wenliang! China must let people speak out," one internet user wrote on Weibo. "There are no superheroes in this world, just regular people who stand up," said another.

Chen had been reporting from hospitals and public places in Wuhan since January 23, three days after China officially called a state of emergency over coronavirus.