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Liu Fan (nurse)

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Liu Fan (Chinese: 柳帆; 1961 – 14 February 2020) was a Deputy Chief Nurse of Wuchang Hospital in Wuhan, Hubei. She was the first nurse to die from SARS-CoV-2 infection, at the age of 59.

Her death caused strong internet reactions across China. Both her parents and her brother died of the coronavirus before her, which led many to characterise their deaths as "family extinction" (灭门).[1] Many saw her work conditions during the outbreak as unacceptable.[2] Initially, the news of her death was also declared a "fabricated rumour".[3] Separately, the death of her brother, Chang Kai, a renowned director, had received strong internet reactions and wide commemorations.[4] The initial hospital responses to her death drew heavy criticism, forcing both the hospital and Wuhan government to issue special responses to address and explain circumstances around her death.[5]


In 2016, Liu was rehired by the outpatient injection room of Wuchang Hospital after reaching retirement age. In 2017, because of the cancellation of the outpatient injection room, she was assigned to the Liyuan Street Community Health Service Center under the hospital as an injection room nurse. Liu remained on duty before 2 February, 2020. She was diagnosed with Covid-19 in the west hospital district of Wuchang Hospital on 7 February and was admitted to the hospital for treatment the same day. On 12 February, Liu was transferred to the intensive care unit of the east hospital district of Wuchang Hospital.[1] With relatively many underlying conditions, her condition progressively worsened. She died at 18:30 on February 14, 2020 at the age of 59.[6]

Wuchang Hospital expressed its condolences for her death. Liu's younger brother, Chang Kai, was the director of the External Liaison Department of Hubei Film Studio. Prior to Liu Fan's death, both of her parents and her brother also died of the coronavirus. Her husband and daughter were being isolated without signs of the infection.[7][8][9]

Controversies after death[edit]

News of her death initially circulated rapidly on the Internet, as allegedly she had no access to basic protection gear while treating patients of the highly infectious COVID-19, and both her parents had died from the virus. Her death also received considerable attention as she was the first nurse to die from COVID-19, she remained on duty through the Chinese New Year Week, and she died on Valentine's Day with her parent dead from the virus and her only brother in ICU.[10] This was later declared as "fabricated rumour" by official censors, who said none of the claims were true and denounced those posting the news as "directed by foreign powers".[11]

The details were later in turn confirmed as true. These provoked greater reactions when she and the renowned director Chang Kai were linked as siblings.[12] His earlier news of death had drawn general attention and strong reactions,[4][13] as all four people in his family was reportedly dead from the same infection due to a lack of beds,[14] leaving only his son who was spared because he was studying in the UK,[15] and as his strongly and earnestly worded will addressing his circumstances was posted by his friends.[16]

Another controversy arose surrounding her death when her hospital was accused of dehumanising her, of belittling the profession, and of implicitly blaming her for her death.[17] Phrases by the hospital in an interview such as "she was merely a nurse doing injections", "the hospital did not place her in a front-line job", and "the hospital strictly requires all personnels to take good personal protections" drew heavy criticism.[10][18][19] The Wuhan city government was forced to issue a public statement in response to address her circumstances.[6]


  1. 1.0 1.1 李英强 (2020-02-16). "武昌医院一护士因新冠肺炎去世 生前护理技术过硬". 新京报. Archived from the original on 2020-02-18.
  2. "Doctors and nurses fighting coronavirus in China die of both infection and fatigue". Los Angeles Times. 2020-02-25. Retrieved 2020-03-11.
  3. "导演一家4口去世 爆中共网警"辟谣式造谣" - 大纪元". 大纪元 www.epochtimes.com (in 中文). 2020-02-19. Retrieved 2020-02-22.
  4. 4.0 4.1 www.bjnews.com.cn. "逝者|因新冠肺炎去世导演常凯:镜头留荆楚,音容在江城". www.bjnews.com.cn. Retrieved 2020-03-11.
  5. "武汉发布:护士柳帆及家中3人因新冠去世_@所有人_澎湃新闻-The Paper". www.thepaper.cn. Retrieved 2020-03-11.
  6. 6.0 6.1 "武汉发布:武昌医院护士柳帆一家四口因新冠肺炎去世". 观察者网. Archived from the original on 2020-02-22.
  7. https://www.facebook.com/ETtoday. "武漢護士「一家四口染新冠肺炎」亡 導演常凱是她親弟! | ETtoday新聞雲". www.ettoday.net (in 中文). Retrieved 2020-02-22.
  8. "导演常凯一家四口因肺炎病逝". Radio Free Asia (in 中文). Retrieved 2020-02-22.
  9. "湖北电影厂员工一家四口接连去世 柳帆常凯实为姐弟(更新)". Caixin.com. Archived from the original on 2020-02-18. Unknown parameter |url-status= ignored (help)
  10. 10.0 10.1 "一个叫柳帆的武汉护士,殉职了". jiliuwang. Unknown parameter |url-status= ignored (help)
  11. dwnews. "常凯一家四口肺炎病逝后续:姐姐去世消息曾被指"境外势力造谣"". blog.dwnews.com (in 中文). Retrieved 2020-03-11.
  12. "延後退休卻染疫亡 武昌護士竟是常凱姊姊". 世界新聞網 (in 中文). 2020-02-19. Retrieved 2020-03-11.
  13. "中国导演常凯几被肺炎灭门 遗书称活活熬死". www.ntdtv.com (in 中文). 2020-02-17. Retrieved 2020-03-11.
  14. "导演常凯一家四口因肺炎病逝". Radio Free Asia (in 中文). Retrieved 2020-03-11.
  15. GM15 (2020-02-17). "《武汉肺炎》大陆导演常凯一家4口染病17天内灭门 儿子英国求学幸免于难成遗孤". Gnews (in 中文). Retrieved 2020-03-11.
  16. "新冠肺炎 导演常凯一家染病死亡外媒惊未获治疗". RFI - 法国国际广播电台 (in 中文). 2020-02-17. Retrieved 2020-03-11.
  17. ""她只是一个打针的护士" - 万维读者网". digest.creaders.net. Retrieved 2020-03-11.
  18. "她不只是一个打针的护士_书名". www.sohu.com. Retrieved 2020-03-11.
  19. "陌生的姐弟:打针的护士柳帆与常凯的遗书 | 自由微信 | FreeWeChat". freewechat.com. Retrieved 2020-03-11.

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