Wuhan scientists admit to being bitten by COVID-19 infected bats

18 Janvier, 2021, 16:15 | Auteur: Anatole Charbonneau
  • Getty The first cases of the novel coronavirus were detected in Wuhan

It further raises questions for the World Health Organization team which is investigating the origins of Covid-19 following months of wrangling with Beijing over access to the Wuhan site.

China's Foreign Minister Wang Yi said during an interview with state-run Xinhua news agency on 1 January responded to the narrative accusing China of lack of transparency on the issue of the pandemic and its origin.

Shi, a Chinese virologist from the Wuhan Institute of Virology dubbed as China's "Bat Woman" due to her years of research and achievements in research with bats and viruses, and Zhou Peng, a scientist also from the institute, jointly published an article, titled "SARS-CoV-2 spillover events", on Science Magazine recently, which said that after the Covid-19 outbreak in Wuhan, several groups reported SARS-related coronavirus in horseshoe bats in China and in pangolins smuggled from South Asian countries.

'Beijing continues to withhold vital information that scientists need to protect the world from this deadly virus, and the next one, ' Mr Pompeo said. But the brief, unsigned statement issued by the US - less than a week before the end of the Trump administration - provided no data to back up its claims.

"We have not determined whether the outbreak began through contact with infected animals or was the result of an accident at a laboratory in Wuhan, China", the statement said.

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A State Department spokesperson declined to elaborate when asked for further comment. The U.S. didn't say how it obtained the new information about illnesses at the lab. The State Department said Beijing's lack of transparency about the virus's origin - along with efforts to mask initial shortcomings in responding to the outbreak - made it hard to draw clear conclusions.

China has been under scrutiny since the outbreak in Wuhan, but the Trump administration also sought to put more blame on authorities in Beijing as the pandemic worsened in the U.S.

In the statement, the outgoing Donald Trump administration claimed that the Chinese Communist Party (CCP) had "systematically prevented a transparent and thorough" investigation of the origins of COVID-19, the infectious disease caused by the novel coronavirus.

The country's state-run media last week leapt on a report that a woman with symptoms of the virus has been traced to Milan in November 2019 as proof that the pandemic started overseas. State media have played up research suggesting that there were cases in Italy and the US that pre-date those in Wuhan, and hinted that the pathogen could have entered the country via frozen food or packaging.

Last November, Chinese scientists argued the virus may have originated in India in the summer of 2019 when a heatwave forced animals and humans to share the same water sources. By subscribing, you can help us get the story right.

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