BEIJING: Shi Zhengli, a number one Chinese virologist whose mysterious disappearance had triggered hypothesis about the lethal novel coronavirus emanating from a bio-lab in Wuhan, has reappeared on the state tv the place she warned that such viruses are simply the “tip of the iceberg”.
Known as China’s “Bat Woman” for her analysis about bats and the viruses related to them, Zhengli additionally regretted over science being “politicised” in the aftermath of the coronavirus outbreak in the nation.
During her look on State TV, she mentioned, “The viruses that we have discovered are actually just the tip of the iceberg.” Shi Zhengli additionally made a direct reference to US President Donald Trump’s allegations that COVID-19 virus originated from the Wuhan lab the place she is a lead researcher on bats.
Though she didn’t say something about her mysterious disappearance and her tweet denying that she has defected, Zhengli revealed that her analysis group had obtained samples of coronavirus on December 30 final yr and carried out high-throughput sequencing of the samples and the isolation of pathogens.
“And then in a very short time, we identified that this was a new type of coronavirus in these samples. We obtained its whole genome sequence. It showed that the pathogen’s sequence was not the same as the already existing viruses. So, we named it a novel coronavirus,” she instructed the state-run CGTN.
Zhengli additionally said that the samples of coronavirus have been submitted to the World Health Organisation (WHO) on January 12. The Chinese researcher added that her group carried out animal an infection experiments for pathogen identification.
“We completed an animal infection experiment with transgenic mice on February 6. Then we completed the animal infection experiment with rhesus monkeys on February 9. Both the animal infection experiments showed that the coronavirus isolated by us was a cause of unexplained pneumonia,” she instructed CGTN.
Replying to allegations that the coronavirus virus emanated from the Wuhan lab, she mentioned, “I think that science has been politicised. It’s very regrettable. I believe scientists from around the world don’t want to see this. As I mentioned before, the researches on infectious diseases must be open and transparent.”
Shi Zhengli, nonetheless, instructed the interviewer that she and her group will proceed with their analysis as there are lots of varieties of bats and different wild animals in nature (which might probably be the carriers of many viruses).
“The viruses that we have discovered are actually just the tip of the iceberg. If we want to protect humans from the outbreak of new infectious diseases, we must take the initiative to learn about these unknown viruses carried by wild animals and give early warnings,” she mentioned.
During her transient interview, Shi additionally China authorities’s dealing with of the coronavirus outbreak and emphasised on the want for extra analysis on viruses.