Chinese doctor Li Wenliang. Photograph:( Others )
Li Wenliang's death was reported by the Wuhan Central Hospital, a little after 3 am local time in China.
However, there have been conflicting reports about his death.
The state-backed Chinese media had already reported his death on Thursday, hours before it was confirmed by the hospital.
The initial report of Li's death led to a massive reaction on Chinese social media. People hailed him as a hero and even blamed the government for dismissing his claims on the virus back in December. But very soon, the state-backed media changed their narrative.
They said that Li was alive and was being given ECMO treatment which is a kind of life support. However, hours later, they finally confirmed his time of death as 2:58 am.
World Health Organisation's representative Mike Ryan initially expressed condolences on Li's death.
Two months ago, Li, 34, had warned the world about a possible virus outbreak in his country. He had written to fellow doctors about a SARS-like infection in December and had urged them to take precautions so as to not contract the disease.
The authorities had dismissed him as a fear-monger and accused him of spreading rumours. He was asked to sign a letter which accused him of making false statements and then on January 10, Li contracted the disease from a patient he had operated.
From his hospital bed, Li revealed that the outbreak could have been controlled better had the government been proactive.