BEIJING (Reuters) – Chinese authorities removed two officials in Hubei province, the epicentre of the coronavirus outbreak, over the death of a cerebral palsy patient whose father and sole caretaker was taken into quarantine.

“The local government was not practical and realistic when carrying out work and failed to perform its duty,” the Central Commission for Discipline Inspection (CCDI) said in a statement.

Yan Cheng, 16, was found dead on Wednesday, a week after his father, was put into quarantine for the virus.

According to the website of the Hong’an town government, Yan’s father had asked his relatives, village officials and village doctors to take care his son.

Yan’s story was one of the top trending stories on Sina Weibo, a microblogging website akin to Twitter.

The Communist Party boss and town chief of Hong’an, where Yan lived, have been dismissed.

The CCDI on Thursday said that it will severely punish officials who slack off on the job in fighting the new virus that is spreading across the country.

(Reporting by Muyu Xu and Tony Munroe; editing by Nick Macfie)