Li Wenliang, a doctor in Wuhan, capital of Hubei province, who sounded an early alarm on the novel coronavirus and was wrongfully accused of "spreading rumors online" in late December was among the martyrs. He died of the virus on Feb 7. On March 19, an investigation concluded that police inappropriately took action to reprimand him.
They are the first batch of martyrs commended for their efforts in containing the outbreak. The selection was made in line with the country's relevant regulations on naming martyrs, said the provincial government in a statement.
The martyrs chose to fight the battle against the virus knowing the danger ahead regardless of personal safety. The epidemic has caused the most extensive spread of infection and has been the most difficult to contain in the country since the founding of the People's Republic of China, it said.
The martyrs include 12 frontline medics who, like Li, were infected while diagnosing and treating patients.
Wang Bing, 72, decided to keep her small clinic open in Wuhan and treat patients when medical resources in the city were extremely overstretched at the beginning of the outbreak. She died on Feb 18 after being infected.
Zhang Kangmei, 68, a physician, volunteered to work at a community medical service center in Wuhan to assess people with fever. She got the virus during the process and died on Feb 14.
Besides medical workers, a police officer and a community official were also among the martyrs.
Wu Yong, 51, a police officer, had worked 61 days straight before he died of exhaustion on March 22. He had been helping transfer patients in Wuhan.
Lian Jianjun, a community official, was infected with the virus during the process of taking a suspected case from the community in Wuhan to a hospital for checkups. The 49-year-old died on Feb 4.
Martyr is the highest honorary title of the Communist Party of China and the country and is awarded to citizens who bravely sacrifice their lives for the nation and society.
(Except for the headline, this story, originally published by CHINADAILY.COM has not been edited by SLM staff)