China Honours “Bat Woman” As WHO Team Arrives To Probe Covid Origins

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Outgoing US President Donald Trump has alleged that the novel coronavirus emanated from WIV

Beijing/Wuhan:

China has honoured a virologist of a controversial Wuhan-based bio-lab, which was on the centre of COVID-19 storm, as a WHO group arrived on the Chinese language metropolis to probe the origins of the coronavirus.

Shi Zhengli from the Wuhan Institute of Virology who has earned the moniker of ”Bat Lady” for her passionate analysis into bats and viruses was honoured as an “superior employee of the Chinese language Academy of Sciences (CAS)”, the state-run World Occasions reported, citing a WIV announcement on Friday.

Outgoing US President Donald Trump has alleged that the novel coronavirus emanated from WIV earlier than it unfold the world over and claimed tens of millions of lives and shattered world economies.

Ever for the reason that virus outbreak got here to mild in Wuhan in December final, hypothesis has been rife on whether or not the viral pressure originated from China’s premier virology institute or from its close by Huanan Seafood Market.

Shi was honoured together with 20 superior staff through the CAS 2021 annual work convention held in Beijing, stated Liu Lijun, director of the Nationwide Commendation and Rewarding Workplace of the Ministry of Human Assets and Social Safety.

She was praised as adhering to the scientific values of innovation, serving the nation and benefiting folks, and fought onerous and by no means flinched within the face of difficulties and challenges, the report stated.

Shi got here underneath the highlight of native and world media after Trump’s allegation. Trump had requested China to allow the US to conduct a probe, which Beijing ignored.

Curiously, after her title appeared within the native and overseas media early final yr, Shi conspicuously disappeared for months amid rumours that she had defected to a western nation.

However she out of the blue resurfaced in official Chinese language media and denied reviews of her defection to the West and questioned Trump’s allegation that the virus emerged from WIV.

“Trump’s declare jeopardises and impacts our tutorial work and private lives. He owes us an apology,” she was quoted by official media.

Considerably, Shi’s “honour” by CAS coincides with the arrival of the 13-member World Well being Organisation (WHO) group to Wuhan on Thursday to probe the origins of COVID-19.

The WHO specialists are at present put up in a resort in Wuhan to serve 14-day quarantine.

Their web site visits in Wuhan, the place the virus first emerged in December 2019, are anticipated to incorporate the WIV and the moist market, the place the lethal virus was suspected to have been transmitted from reside animals like bats to people. The market remained closed and sealed since early final yr.

The WHO group’s go to has turn into a bone of competition as Beijing, which questions the widely-held view in regards to the virus’ origins in Wuhan, delayed granting permission to it. China says the virus has appeared in lots of locations on this planet and it solely reported first.

In the meantime, China on Friday permitted one of many two WHO specialists, earlier barred from travelling to Wuhan for testing COVID-19 optimistic, to hitch his colleagues within the Chinese language metropolis.

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A British and a Sudanese scientist from Qatar examined optimistic for COVID-19 in Singapore, Chinese language Overseas Ministry spokesman Zhao Lijian instructed a media briefing right here on Friday.

As a present of help to WHO, China has agreed to conduct the required assessments once more, he stated

“The outcomes of the British professional confirmed detrimental however the Sudanese professional from Qatar nonetheless confirmed optimistic. So we have now agreed for the British professional to journey to China,” Zhao stated.

“We’ll stay involved with WHO on this related matter and collectively work in the direction of larger cooperation on this origin tracing work,” he stated.

The WHO group consists of virus and different specialists from the US, Australia, Germany, Japan, Britain, Russia, the Netherlands, Qatar and Vietnam.

In the meantime, COVID-19 instances proceed to rise in China after it managed to include the virus earlier.

China’s Nationwide Well being Fee on Friday reported 144 new COVID-19 instances, of whom 135 have been regionally transmitted.

Of the regionally transmitted instances, 90 have been reported in Hebei, 43 in Heilongjiang and one every in Guangxi and Shaanxi, the fee stated.

On Wednesday, China reported its first dying as a result of coronavirus in eight months.

Hebei province, bordering Beijing, continues to be the brand new hotbed for the unfold of the virus. A number of cities with tens of millions of individuals in Hebei are underneath lockdown to stop the unfold of the virus. China has largely introduced the virus underneath management by way of fast mass testing, stringent lockdowns and tight journey restrictions.

China has thus far reported 87,988 COVID-19 instances and 4,635 deaths because of the illness.

Based on Johns Hopkins College’s coronavirus tracker, over 93,227,340 folks have been confirmed with the illness the world over and greater than 1,996,620 folks have died.

(Aside from the headline, this story has not been edited by NDTV employees and is revealed from a syndicated feed.)

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