CHINA'S "Bat Woman" scientist has insisted nobody at a Wuhan coronavirus lab has been infected and has blasted conspiracy theories that suggest the bug was leaked.
Shi Zhengli does not believe that Covid-19 moved from bats to humans in Wuhan, where the first cases were identified in December last year.
⚠️ Read our coronavirus live blog for the latest news & updates
The scientist claims that there is currently "no evidence" to say when and where the virus first infected humans but she doesn't believe it occurred in the Chinese province of Hubei.
"We know from historical experience like HIV that the places where big emerging diseases first break out usually are not their place of origin," Shi reportedly told Science magazine.
The researcher also rubbished suggestions that the virus originated from the Wuhan Institute of Virology.
She claimed that her team had not been in contact with or studied the virus prior to receiving in a sample in December.
Staff were reportedly unaware of its existence, according to Newsweek.
"To date, there is zero infection of all staff and students in our institute," she said.
Wuhan's coronavirus lab looks to have avoided an investigation into the origins of the pandemic as a World Health Organisation team isn't expected to visit.
The WHO, accused of "parroting Chinese propaganda" and heaping praise on Beijing, said a team would visit China.
Experts would seek to "advance the understanding of animal hosts for Covid-19 and ascertain how the disease jumped between animals and humans".
The organisation seems to accept China's story that the virus was transmitted naturally to people, possibly in a wet market.
The WHO said that the investigation would only look at "the zoonotic source" of the outbreak, meaning any potential lab accident was ignored
There is not any conclusive proof that the virus took hold in a wet market despite pictures of scientists handing bat samples.
A landmark scientific study in May revealed that the deadly bug may have not originated in Wuhan's wild animal wet market.
Biologists Yujia Alina Chan and Benjamin Deverman from the Broad Institute carried out the new research alongside Shing Hei Zhan from the University of British Columbia.
The scientists said: "The publicly available genetic data does not point to cross-species transmission of the virus at the market."
'HE OWES US AN APOLOGY'
"The possibility that a non-genetically engineered precursor could have adapted to humans while being studied in a laboratory should be considered," they added.
Shi also accused Donald Trump of "jeopardising and affecting the scientists' academic work" for suggesting that the coronavirus originated in the Wuhan lab.
The scientist said the US President owed her team an "apology."
The Republican previously claimed that he had seen evidence that the coronavirus outbreak originated in a Wuhan lab.
The president added the Chinese communist regime then tried to cover up their Covid-19 blunder — but "couldn't put out the fire".
The US intelligence community has said it believes that the novel coronavirus was not "manmade or genetically modified" but was probing whether it was caused by "an accident at a laboratory in Wuhan."
Trump also incorrectly claimed that China had allowed the "plague" into the US while reportedly stopping the bug in its own country.
Cases were confirmed in Beijing, Shanghai and Shenzhen as well as Hubei province, of which Wuhan is the capital, on January 20.
Trump even terminated America's relationship with the WHO, after claiming China has "total control" over it and has repeatedly criticised the organisation for its "sad job" during the pandemic.
Source: Read Full Article