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The 34-year-old doctor had attempted to share his concern about the virus before it became a pandemic, but was summoned by police after being accused of 'spreading rumours'.
On 7 February 2020, Li sadly died after catching the deadly virus from a patient he was treating.
One year later, life in Wuhan has mostly returned to normal, but residents say they remain grateful for Li's actions.
Resident Li Pan, 24, told Reuters: "He was the first to tell us about the virus."
Li, who owns an online store, added: "He must have considered the impact would be huge, but he still raised the alarm. That was really brave."
Ji Penghui said he heard about Li's warning in the early days of the pandemic, and had rushed to stock up on masks before the officials spoke openly about the virus.
The 34-year-old designer said: "The public strongly acknowledges him, and personally, I think he should receive more official honours, rather than being treated as what he did is already in the past."
Ji added that he believed the government made mistakes in the early stages, but it has handled it well since.
When Wenliang shared the news in a WeChat group with colleagues, he wrote: "Seven cases of SARS confirmed."
In a post on Chinese social media site Weibo, he explained that police then contacted him.
In the post, as translated by Sixth Tone, he wrote: "After I sent the message, the police found me and made me sign an official letter of criticism."
Li, who worked at one of the main medical centres that dealt with patients at the virus' 'ground zero', included a photo of the letter sent to him by police on 3 January.
The letter says that Li had 'severely disturbed the social order', reading: "The police hope that you can actively cooperate with us, heed our advice, and stop your illegal behaviour. Can you do this?"
Li responds, in writing: "Yes, I can."
The letter continues: "We hope you can calm down and reflect on your behaviour. We solemnly warn you: If you keep being stubborn, with such impertinence, and continue this illegal activity, you will be brought to justice - is that understood?"
Again, Li answers: "Yes, I do."
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