KUALA LUMPUR: The ongoing Wuhan coronavirus outbreak does not have an end in sight yet, and the death toll has risen to over 800.
Most recently, the brave whistleblower who alerted China's authorities to the virus, had himself succumbed to it.
Shocked and saddened by the news, popular actress Zhang Ziyi paid glowing tribute to Dr Li Wenliang who died at Wuhan Central Hospital last Friday.
Jayne Stars reported that the 40-year-old Crouching Tiger, Hidden Dragon star who is resting in California, the United States following childbirth took to Weibo recently and said: “Rest in peace, Dr Li Wenliang. Only 34 and a father to be. This is so heartbreaking. You'll always be a hero for alerting all of us to the deadly coronavirus, and helped us save many lives.”
Many Netizens agreed with Zhang, and commended her for honouring the good doctor, whom they felt was a national hero.
Dr Li, 34, who was set to become a father in June, posted on his medical school alumni group on WeChat, that seven patients from a seafood market in Wuhan had been diagnosed with a SARS-like illness and had been quarantined in Wuhan Hospital.
The doctor was subsequently accused of rumour-mongering by Wuhan police.
Dr Li was hospitalised on Jan 12 and tested positive for the coronavirus on Feb 1.
Zhang recently posted on Weibo a short video clip online on hygienic awareness that emphasised the necessity of washing hands thoroughly.
Thanking medical staff for their hard work in combating the virus, Zhang said: “I salute all medical professionals and researchers working on the front line. We must do our part and start making improvements to our lives.
“We must work together. The earlier we beat this virus, the earlier we will win this battle! Let’s work hard together!”
Zhang, a mother of two, has been in California for a month due to postpartum confinement, after gave birth to her son on Jan 1. Her daughter Wang Xingxing, 5, was also born in California.
Zhang, who is married to Chinese rock singer Wang Feng, started acting in 1996 and her best known films include Rush Hour 2, Hero, Memoirs Of A Geisha and Godzilla: King Of The Monsters.
In 2008, she was awarded Outstanding Contribution To Chinese Cinema Award at the 11th Shanghai International Film Festival.
In 2013, she received the French Cultural Order at the Ordre Des Arts Et Des Lettres.