China hushed up work of ‘Bat Woman’ coronavirus expert who unlocked killer gene that could have saved lives – The Sun

China hushed up work of ‘Bat Woman’ coronavirus expert who unlocked killer gene that could have saved lives – The Sun


A CHINESE scientist known as “Bat Woman” was reportedly “muzzled” after she unravelled the Covid-19 gene — which is crucial for developing tests and vaccines. 

Virologist Shi Zhengli, is one of the world’s top coronavirus researchers, was allegedly silenced after discovering a mystery virus was similar to SARS, a respiratory disease that sparked an epidemic in 2002.

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 Shi Zhengli was silenced by the Chinese authorities it was claimed

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Shi Zhengli was silenced by the Chinese authorities it was claimed
 The Wuhan Institute of Virology reportedly carried out experiments on bats

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The Wuhan Institute of Virology reportedly carried out experiments on batsCredit: Wuhan Virology Institute

The revelation will fuel fresh allegations that China’s Communist regime covered-up the outbreak erupting in the city of Wuhan, which went on to become a pandemic that has so far killed nearly 110,000 world-wide.

It has been reported that Shi, who had researched bat viruses, was called back to her high security lab in Wuhan at the end of last year after a mysterious new respiratory condition in the city was identified as a new form of coronavirus. 

Within three days she completed its gene sequencing, the Mail on Sunday reports.

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Her team’s work was said to have revealed the virus was linked to horseshoe bats found more than 1,000 miles away in Yunnan, a region of southern China. 

Gao Yu, a Chinese journalist freed last week after 76 days of lockdown in Wuhan, said he spoke to Shi while he was in custody.

He said: “We learned later her institute finished gene-sequencing and related tests as early as January 2 but was muzzled.” 

But reportedly that same day, Yanyi Wang, director of the Wuhan Institute of Virology’s director sent an email to staff and key officials ordering them to keep quiet about the new virus.

‘DISEASE LEAKED FROM LAB’

Covid-19 was originally thought to have come from a so-called “wet market” in the city but there has been mounting speculation linking the disease to the lab and another in the city.

Scientists at the institute experimented on bats as part of a project funded by the US National Institutes of Health, which licences it to receive American money, the Mail on Sunday reports.

The £30 million Wuhan Institute of Virology is the most advanced laboratory of its type on the Chinese mainland and is based ten miles from the now infamous “wet market”.

Research published in November 2017 in a paper entitled: “Discovery of a rich gene pool of bat SARS-related coronaviruses provides new insights into the origin of SARS coronavirus.”

 Experiments were conducted on horseshoe bats

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Experiments were conducted on horseshoe batsCredit: Getty – Contributor

The research involved capturing bats in a cave in Yunnan, in south-western China.

An April 2018 research paper was titled “fatal swine acute diarrhoea syndrome caused by an HKU2-related coronavirus of bat origin”.

The government reportedly no longer rules out that the virus first spread to humans after leaking from a Wuhan laboratory.

Cao Bin, a doctor a Wuhan hospital, highlighted research showing that 13 of the first 41 patients diagnosed with the infection had not had any contact with the market.

“It seems clear that the seafood market is not the only origin of the virus,” he told Science magazine.

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The Chinese government has condemned what it called the “hasty and reckless” claim that the country was the source of the outbreak.

Meanwhile a Chinese journalist freed last week after 76 days of lockdown in Wuhan, said he spoke to Shi during his time there.

The Chinese government has been accused of seeking to cover-up the outbreak and silence whistleblowers.

“We learned later her institute finished gene-sequencing and related tests as early as January 2 but was muzzled,” Gao Yu said, the Mail on Sunday reports.

In an online lecture last month, Shi said her team found on January 14 that the new virus could infect people, almost a week before this was revealed by Chinese authorities.

Her team released data showing Covid-19’s genetic sequence was 96 per cent identical to another virus they found in horseshoe bats in Yunnan.

 A bat is caught and then taken away to study in a video by the Wuhan Centre for Disease Control released in December 2019
A bat is caught and then taken away to study in a video by the Wuhan Centre for Disease Control released in December 2019
 The Wuhan Institute of Virology is the most secure lab of its kind in China. A researcher is seen on February 23, 2017

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The Wuhan Institute of Virology is the most secure lab of its kind in China. A researcher is seen on February 23, 2017Credit: AFP – Getty
 Scientists at the Wuhan Institute of Virology with a cage including mice in 2017

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Scientists at the Wuhan Institute of Virology with a cage including mice in 2017Credit: AFP – Getty
Documentary showing a Chinese virus researcher catching wild bats sparks Wuhan CDC coronavirus origin conspiracy theory





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