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

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 crew arrived on the Chinese metropolis to probe the origins of the coronavirus.

Shi Zhengli from the Wuhan Institute of Virology who has earned the moniker of ”Bat Woman” for her passionate analysis into bats and viruses was honoured as an “advanced worker of the Chinese Academy of Sciences (CAS)”, the state-run Global Times 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 internationally and claimed hundreds of thousands of lives and shattered world economies.

Ever because the virus outbreak got here to gentle 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 employees through the CAS 2021 annual work convention held in Beijing, stated Liu Lijun, director of the National Commendation and Rewarding Office of the Ministry of Human Resources and Social Security.

She was praised as adhering to the scientific values of innovation, serving the nation and benefiting individuals, and fought arduous 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 international media early final yr, Shi conspicuously disappeared for months amid rumours that she had defected to a western nation.

But she instantly resurfaced in official Chinese media and denied experiences of her defection to the West and questioned Trump’s allegation that the virus emerged from WIV.

“Trump’s claim jeopardises and affects our academic work and personal lives. He owes us an apology,” she was quoted by official media.

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

The WHO consultants are at present put up in a lodge 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 crew’s go to has change into a bone of competition as Beijing, which questions the widely-held view concerning 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.

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

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A British and a Sudanese scientist from Qatar examined optimistic for COVID-19 in Singapore, Chinese Foreign 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 exams once more, he stated

“The results of the British expert showed negative but the Sudanese expert from Qatar still showed positive. So we have agreed for the British expert to travel to China,” Zhao stated.

“We will remain in contact with WHO on this relevant matter and jointly work towards greater cooperation on this origin tracing work,” he stated.

The WHO crew contains virus and different consultants from the US, Australia, Germany, Japan, Britain, Russia, the Netherlands, Qatar and Vietnam.

Meanwhile, COVID-19 circumstances proceed to rise in China after it managed to comprise the virus earlier.

China’s National Health Commission on Friday reported 144 new COVID-19 circumstances, of whom 135 had been regionally transmitted.

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

On Wednesday, China reported its first loss of life because of coronavirus in eight months.

Hebei province, bordering Beijing, continues to be the brand new hotbed for the unfold of the virus. Several cities with hundreds of thousands of individuals in Hebei are underneath lockdown to forestall the unfold of the virus. China has largely introduced the virus underneath management by means of fast mass testing, stringent lockdowns and tight journey restrictions.

China has up to now reported 87,988 COVID-19 circumstances and 4,635 deaths as a result of illness.

According to Johns Hopkins University’s coronavirus tracker, over 93,227,340 individuals have been confirmed with the illness internationally and greater than 1,996,620 individuals have died.

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

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