This obituary is part of a series about people who have died in the coronavirus pandemic. Read about others here.
Liu Ouqing’s life was one of service to his country. At a young age, he joined the Chinese Army. He then worked in a state-owned factory, before becoming a civil servant and a school administrator.
In the 1990s, as China was moving to open up its centrally planned economy, Mr. Liu was party secretary of the Wuhan Grain Bureau, responsible for ensuring that the city had enough to eat. Later, he helped establish what is now known as Wuhan Business University.
Mr. Liu died of complications of the new coronavirus on Jan. 29 at a hospital in Wuhan, said his son, Liu Pei’en. He was 78.
He developed symptoms of Covid-19, the disease caused by the virus, two weeks after checking in to the hospital for his yearly health exam, and died days later.
Not long after his death, local officials in Wuhan began pressuring Mr. Liu’s son to quickly bury his father, as the government was moving to control the narrative of the outbreak. The younger Mr. Liu did not protest, even though he resented being forced to share such a private moment with government-appointed chaperones.