The coronavirus just killed a 29-year-old doctor who postponed his wedding to fight the disease

Wuhan Doctor Peng Yinghua

A young Chinese doctor who postponed his own wedding to help battle the coronavirus "on the front line" has just died from the disease, according to Chinese news agency Xinhua.

Peng Yinhua, 29, was treating patients at the center of the coronavirus outbreak in Wuhan's Jiangxia district People's No. 1 Hospital, providing respiratory and critical care. The young physician was admitted to the hospital after contracting the virus on January 25.

According to a statement from the hospital obtained by the Guardian, Yinhua was sent to Jinyintan hospital in Wuhan for emergency treatment when his condition dramatically worsened. He died on Thursday night. Yinhua leaves behind his fiancée, who has not been named.

Yinhua planned to marry his partner during the Chinese Lunar New Year holiday. They agreed to delay the ceremony so that Yinhua could help treat patients at the center of the outbreak. According to Xinhua, Yinhua never even had the chance to send out his wedding invitations, which still remain in his office drawer.

In the wake of his death, hundreds of Chinese citizens have taken to the social media platform Weibo to mourn his death, lauding the doctor as a "hero."

"We will never forget these heroes," one Weibo user wrote in a post. "They selflessly gave it all, I think we will always remember them."

8 medical professionals have died from the virus and more than 1,700 have been infected

Yinhua is one of at least eight medical professionals and one of the youngest to have died from the coronavirus, now known as COVID-19. It has primarily been fatal to older patients or those who had other ailments that compromised their immune systems.

The death of another doctor, named Li Wenliang, ignited widespread public outcry online. Wenliang was a whistleblower who attempted to raise alarm bells about the virus in the early days of the outbreak. Chinese citizens outraged by his death and the inconsistent reporting from state news media agencies demanded more free speech, but online watchdogs censored their cries.

The news of Yinhua's death comes as healthcare workers on the frontlines of the coronavirus outbreak are getting sick by the hundreds. China has reported that more than 1,700 health workers had contracted the new virus.

Concerns about the condition of healthcare workers have escalated after a study published earlier this month in the Journal of the American Medical Association found that of 138 coronavirus patients studied at one hospital, 29% were healthcare workers.

The reports highlight yet another issue in the country's battle against the pandemic, as food and critical medical supplies are running low in the center of the outbreak. The novel coronavirus has swept across China, spreading to every province and region in the country and at least 29 other countries.

On Friday, the death toll of the coronavirus outbreak had risen to 2,250, with more than 76,000 people infected in 30 countries, inciting hysteria about the disease worldwide. But experts say the fatality rate of the novel virus is low, currently at about 2%.

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