"I can't rest because I don't want my patients to wait for me."
Click on a person's photo to read his or her story.
34 years old
"I'll go back to the frontline once I recover. The coronavirus is spreading and I don't want to be a deserter."
Li, an ophthalmologist at Wuhan Central Hospital, had shared with his medical school classmates on WeChat a photo of a lab report stating that a patient had been infected by a coronavirus similar to the one that caused SARS. In addition, he said in the WeChat group that seven patients from a local seafood market had been diagnosed with SARS and quarantined in his hospital's emergency department.
Local police subsequently asked him and seven other doctors to sign a letter saying that they had been making "untrue" statements that disturbed the social order. Vindication came on January 28 when China's Supreme Court published an article criticizing local authorities for their behavior toward Li. After falling ill in January, Li was admitted to the ICU with fever and coughing. He died on February 7 due to complications from the coronavirus infection. Local police issued an official apology to his family six weeks after he died.
86 years old
"In the pursuit of science, there might be no results for 20 years. But one can't be impatient and desperate for accomplishment. We must set a goal and be persistent."
As a member of the prestigious Chinese Academy of Engineering, Duan was widely known for his role in advancing Gamma Knife – a medical instrument used in radiosurgery to treat various types of cancer. At 75, he was the oldest candidate to be enrolled in the academy. He was diagnosed with COVID-19 on January 29 and died on February 15.
71 years old
"I can't watch a life slip away in front of me."
Yu dedicated his life to saving others. As the founder of the Yangtze River Rescue team, he led some 700 teammates to patrol China's most famous waterway and rescued thousands who would have drowned if it weren't for his efforts. On January 26, he was diagnosed with COVID-19. Yu passed away on February 6.
"When you open my WeChat Moments, you can read this poem as my epitaph."
Chen, who goes by the pseudonym of Wandering Cedar, was born in Shouxian County of Anhui Province. The established poet was infected with COVID-19 when passing through Wuhan on the way to Jingmen on January 19. He died on February 13 after failing to be resuscitated.
65 years old
Chen was an editor at Wuhan Evening News. He dedicated his life to journalism and was the recipient of the Hubei Journalism Award. In late January, while caring for his wife who was diagnosed with COVID-19, he was infected by the virus and passed away on February 8. Within 20 days, his daughter, who was also infected, lost her parents and uncle.
66 years old
The former professor at the Wuhan Institute of Technology is the founder of the magazine Psychological Counseling, one of the earliest magazines in China dedicated to the study of psychology. He is a fatherly figure to many of his students and while he was infected with the coronavirus, he still managed to counsel those around him. He died on February 25.
72 years old
Qiu was an accomplished bodybuilder who built a reputation for not only his impressive physique but also his passion for life. Qiu was the living proof that age is but a number. On February 6, he died after being diagnosed with COVID-19 at the age of 72.
28 years old
"Hope the battle against the coronavirus will end soon."
Song, a pharmacist at a health center in Hengshan of Hunan Province, was on duty at a highway checkpoint, taking temperatures of passengers and logging their travels since January 25. After working for 10 days consecutively in the cold, he died of a sudden cardiac arrest on February 3. He had planned to visit his sister in Hubei after the outbreak.
51 years old
Xu Hui, vice director of Nanjing Municipal Hospital of Traditional Chinese Medicine, had led her hospital's coronavirus control group since January 23. After working for 18 consecutive days without eating a regular meal, she died on February 7. She had called her daughter the day before when she couldn't stand the pain. Her husband returned to the frontline a week after she passed away.
41 years old
"Make sure all checkpoints are staffed 24-7. Make sure you don't catch a cold..."
Jiang, a grassroots official of Changling County in China's northeastern Jilin Province, died on February 4 from a traffic accident on the way to distribute drugs and medical equipment to each checkpoint established to control the spread of the novel coronavirus. She had been working on the frontline since the outbreak began, bringing thermometers, disinfectants and medical-grade gloves directly to the villagers. Since graduating from university in 2001, she had worked in the provincial-level poverty-stricken county for 19 years and served as the chair of its women's federation for a decade.
49 years old
"Through the dark night, there comes the brighter day."
During his work at the Jingmen Radio and Television Station, Jin started programs that looked at the hardships that farmers and disabled people in local communities were experiencing. While working as a volunteer in his neighborhood during the coronavirus outbreak, he suffered a stroke and died on February 15.
58 years old
"I have experience since I worked during the SARS outbreak."
Liu, a police officer for 37 years, volunteered to check passing vehicles and take the temperatures of drivers at a crucial checkpoint in Jilin Province. After work, he cooked for his younger colleagues who were on duty during the Spring Festival holiday. He promised his family a reunion dinner on January 28 but died of a subarachnoid hemorrhage that early morning. "My father is the backbone of our family. Now that he has passed away, the sky has fallen," his daughter said.
62 years old
Known for being the first professor in China to have established a university major in watercolor painting, Liu dedicated his life to teaching his students the intricacies of his art at the Hubei Institute of Fine Arts. On February 13, he died from complications due to the novel coronavirus.
21 years old
"There's usually a price tag on happiness. But even if that's the case, many people still strive for it relentlessly."
Tang was one of the youngest doctors working in the radiology department at a local hospital in China's Fujian Province. He once volunteered in the country's far-western Xinjiang Uygur Autonomous Region on a medical team. As COVID-19 began to spread, he was assigned to work in a hotel which had been converted into a temporary quarantine facility. Yet, he told his friend that he wanted to help out on the frontline. On March 10, Tang's family was informed that their son had passed away in the tragic collapse of the hotel.
42 years old
"I volunteer to go to the isolation wards."
The respiratory physician contracted the novel coronavirus while on duty at Xiaogan Central Hospital. He continued to receive over a hundred patients each day after news of the coronavirus broke. With no protection gear, he was diagnosed with the disease on January 27 and was hospitalized two days later. He died on February 23 from multiple organ failure. His wife – a laboratory clinician who is responsible for the nucleic acid testing of the coronavirus – said the last thing Huang told her was "when will you take me home?"
51 years old
"Seeing doctors from all over the country coming to help Wuhan brought tears to my eyes."
Qiu was the attending physician at a community health center in Wuhan. He contracted COVID-19 while treating patients during the Lunar New Year holiday and was hospitalized on February 1. After becoming infected, Qiu asked on social media for greater support in terms of triage and protective gear for community health workers. He died on February 10. Qiu's wife had tended to him around the clock in an attempt to keep his fever at bay. She held off telling his parents about his death for several days to avoid upsetting them.
45 years old
Ai, a police officer at the Beijing Municipal Public Security Bureau's complaints and proposals sector, died from an acute cerebral hemorrhage on February 22. Since the outbreak of the coronavirus, he rented an apartment close to the police station to handle cases from the public. He handled nearly 10,000 appeals and more than 320 cases related to the coronavirus outbreak.
29 years old
"I'm worried about the baby. I'll go home early."
Peng, a respiratory and intensive care doctor at Wuhan's Jiangxia District People's No. 1 Hospital, was hospitalized on January 25 after getting infected. He was transferred to Jinyintan Hospital on January 30 and died on February 20. The last time he saw his pregnant wife was on the eve of the Spring Festival. His wedding invitations still lie in his office drawer – he planned to give his wife a wedding ceremony on February 1.
36 years old
"These are unique circumstances. We must guard the checkpoint."
Suleman served as the deputy chief of a police checkpoint in the city of Aksu in northwestern China's Xinjiang Uygur Autonomous Region. He was regarded as one of the best in the station by his colleagues. On January 25, he died from a myocardial infarction after working for 38 hours straight. "I will come back soon after lunch." These were his last words to his colleagues.
46 years old
Song was a doctor at a community health center in Baoshan City, southwest China's Yunnan Province. Since late January, she had been working long hours to screen people who had been to the virus-hit Hubei Province. On January 31, she was hit by a motorcycle on her way home from work. She died from her injuries in the afternoon that day.
51 years old
"Don't wait for me. I have many things to do. I'll go home by subway. "
Liu, director of Wuchang Hospital, died after efforts to resuscitate him failed. Since the outbreak, the neurosurgeon took part in the renovation work of isolation wards and the treatment of infected patients. A “workaholic” in the eyes of his colleagues, he hadn’t been home since Wuchang Hospital became one of the designated hospitals for COVID-19 patients on January 20. Liu was admitted to the ICU after presenting with symptoms of fever and fatigue. In a message to his wife, a head nurse in another hospital, he said he felt short of breath and was sweating a lot. He died on February 18.
57 years old
Yang, an established architect, was the former mayor of the city of Huangshi in Hubei Province. During his tenure as the chairman of a local insurance company since 2014, Yang always looked at ways to aid local development. He succumbed to COVID-19 on January 28.
29 years old
"If I die, I hope you'll stay strong."
Xia, a gastroenterologist, became infected while working at Wuhan's Union Jiangbei Hospital. After a night shift on January 15, she returned to help treat an elderly patient, who was suspected of having contracted the virus. She was hospitalized on January 19 following a fever and died on February 23. While still on the hospital bed, she and her husband – an orthopedic doctor – had decided they would work on the frontline together after she recovered. Their child is two years old.
47 years old
"I will donate my body to my country."
Xiao, a used car dealer in Wuhan, was diagnosed with COVID-19 on February 7. When his health started to deteriorate quickly, he told his wife three times that he wanted to donate his body if he passed away. In his will, he wrote with shaking hands, "My body belongs to my country once I am gone." He died on February 13.
55 years old
"I can't rest because I don't want my patients to wait for me."
Jiang was an award-winning physician and the head of thyroid and breast surgery at Wuhan Central Hospital. Since taking charge of the department in 2007, Jiang helped more than 17,000 patients recover. He became infected with COVID-19 on January 17 during his shift. While in the isolation ward, Jiang reminded colleagues on the frontline to take care of themselves. He died from the infection on March 1.
45 years old
"I want to go to the frontline of battling the coronavirus. I'll march forward relentlessly, and never back down."
Cheng, a police officer of the Ruzhou Public Security Bureau in Henan Province, went into a coma associated with a sudden cerebral hemorrhage on January 28 after working for three days in a row. He died two days later.
33 years old
Wang, a police officer in Hunan Province's Shaodong City, volunteered to join the local disease prevention and control workforce since the COVID-19 outbreak began. He was in charge of guarding the checkpoints, taking residents' temperatures, and ensuring that returnees from high-risk areas quarantined themselves. While on duty, he fell ill and died on January 30.
55 years old
"Farewell to those I love and to those who loved me!"
Chang, a filmmaker at the Hubei Film Studio, died from the coronavirus on February 14. He made documentaries focusing on the city of Wuhan – his beloved hometown. His parents died in the previous two weeks, the family having spent days together at home under self-quarantine. Chang's sister Liu Fan – a nurse at Wuhan Wuchang Hospital – died hours after he did. His wife also contracted the disease.
56 years old
"One deed is worth a thousand words."
Zhang joined the local police force in China's Shandong Province in 2000 after retiring from military service. As a deputy warden of a local prison in the city of Heze, he was swift to react to the spread of COVID-19 and ordered a series of effective measures including implementation of a quarantine to ensure the safety of guards and inmates. On January 25, he died of cardiac arrest due to overwork while on duty.
40 years old
Zheng, a police officer at Hubei's Nanzhang County, suffered acute liver failure on January 24, after five days of working overtime on the frontline. He was in critical condition for 13 days. The hospital announced his death on February 5.