Late on Thursday, after state-controlled media outlets reported that he had died days earlier, the news was met with an extraordinary nationwide outpouring of grief and anger on social media.
It added that the baby, which weighed 3.25kg at birth (7lbs 2oz), was now in stable condition and under observation.
Medical experts say it could be a case where the infection was contracted in the womb.
Medical workers in protective suits receive a patient at the Wuhan International Conference and Exhibition Center, which has been converted into a makeshift hospital, to receive patients with symptoms of the coronavirus, in Wuhan, China Feb. 5, 2020. Stephen Morse, an epidemiologist at the Mailman School of Public Health at Columbia University, told Business Insider that the in-utero transmission was not likely.
World Health Organization epidemiologist Maria van Kerkhove, said the virus causes a full spectrum of disease, from what looks like the common colds to pneumonia including multiple organ failure and death.
So far, very few children have developed coronavirus, which is primarily affecting people between 49 and 56 years old. A 35-year-old man in Seattle, who was the first reported case in the US, has recovered and is now at home.
The 34-year-old sent out a message about the new coronavirus to colleagues on December 30, but was later among eight whistleblowers summoned by police for "rumour-mongering".
More than two dozen airlines have suspended or restricted flights to China and several countries, including the United States, have banned entry to anyone who has been in China over the previous two weeks.
Hong Kong has been particularly nervous because the crisis revived memories of another coronavirus that causes Severe Acute Respiratory Syndrome (SARS).
China Completes Coronavirus Hospital Amid High Deaths
At full capacity, China's factories are only able to produce around 20 million masks a day, according to the ministry of industry. It added that 2,296 patients remained in severe condition, and 21,558 people were suspected of being infected with the virus.
The People's Daily China newspaper shared a photo on Twitter that reportedly showed the infant in an incubator at the Wuhan children's hospital.
Media captionEvacuating from China to a remote Australian island for quarantine What else is happening as a result of the virus?
Its chief, Tedros Adhanom Ghebreyesus, on Wednesday appealed for $675m (£520m) to fund a three-month response plan. "We all need to celebrate work that he did" on the virus.
From Europe to Australia and the US, universities that host Chinese students or have study-abroad programs are scrambling to assess the risks, and some are canceling opportunities and prohibiting student travel.
Taiwan, which has 13 cases, banned global cruise ships from docking.
In the latest worldwide actions, Saudi Arabia banned its citizens and resident foreigners from traveling to China, while Air France-KLM made a decision to extend its flight suspension by another month until March 15.
For most of his life, Li Wenliang was a successful but anonymous ophthalmologist, father and husband, based in the central Chinese city of Wuhan.
A Hong Kong medical union has warned that its 20,000 members could resign en masse if the semi-autonomous territory's Hospital Authority refuses to hold a dialogue with them over their demands amid an ongoing strike.
Hubei province in central China has been in virtual lockdown for almost two weeks, with its train stations and airports shut and its roads sealed off.