Jiang Yanyong, a former military surgeon who blew the whistle on the Chinese authorities’ cover-up of the 2003 Sars epidemic has died aged 91, the BBC reports.
He died of pneumonia on Saturday in Beijing, family friends and Chinese-language media in Hong Kong reported.
Dr Jiang was praised for saving lives after writing a letter in the early stage of the Sars crisis which revealed officials were playing down the threat.
But he endured house arrest at one point for his unwavering outspokenness.
The senior doctor had been working in a Beijing hospital in April 2003, when he was alarmed to hear the Chinese health minister telling the public there were only a handful of cases of a new deadly respiratory disease.