A top researcher in the Wuhan Institute of Virology has refuted conspiracy theories surrounding the origins of COVID-19 by detailing the timeline of tireless work carried out by the lab, which saw the discovery of the new type of coronavirus, also has vowed her staff will continue its crucial research at the facility.
While recording the efforts that were made to look into the instances of unexplained viral pneumonia that emerged last year, shi Zhengli has hailed the work of her colleagues in the Chinese Academy of Sciences.
During a recent interview with the China Global Television Network (CGTN), Shi supplied a comprehensive timeline of the institute’s answer to COVID-19, chronicling the main facts and actions it has taken in the anti-virus struggle and debunking some of the widely-refuted conspiracy theories surrounding the virus.
“We got samples on December 30, 2019, and our team carried out coronavirus research on the samples, which were thought to be samples from a pneumonia of an unknown cause, because my laboratory has been operating on coronavirus research. Meanwhile, we’ve performed a high-throughput sequencing of the samples along with the isolation of pathogens. And in a short time, we decided that there’s a new type of coronavirus in these samples and obtained its genome sequence, which demonstrates that this pathogen’s sequence isn’t the same as the virus’s we already knew. So we named it a novel coronavirus,” she explained.
She said her institute was always dedicated to transparency and shared all accessible data about the coronavirus with the world in a timely fashion, noting that the World Health Organization (WHO) was educated about the discoveries which were made at an early stage.
“Later, two other medical institutes within our country, and we submitted the entire genome sequence of this virus into the World Health Organization on January 12, 2020. At the same time, we also uploaded other sequences into a gene library called GISAID, which can be used by scientists and governments across the globe to recognize pathogens and develop vaccines and screen drugs,” she noted.
However, Shi said that sequencing the genome of the virus and sharing it was far from the conclusion of her work. She clarified evaluations were conducted with her team.
“The job we did before is only a part of the pathogen identification where we could know its genetic information and what kind of virus it is. But, for pathogen identification, another important step is animal disease experiments. These experiments are part of what’s named Koch’s postulates. Only through animal disease experiments can we determine that a particular pathogen is the main source of a specific disease. Since we have an animal model, we can use it to do the experiments immediately,” she said.
“In actuality, we finished an animal infection experimentation with transgenic mice on February 6, 2020. It proved that this animal could simulate some pneumonia symptoms consistent with individual. We completed rhesus monkeys’ animal disease experiments. Both two animal infection experiments proved that the coronavirus isolated by us was a cause of the unexplained pneumonia,” she added.
She noted that the large scientific consensus among global scientists is that the coronavirus naturally developed, adding that her future work will be concentrated on this area when investigating into unknown viruses.
“Next, I will continue a number of the previous work, such as exploring unknown pathogens. We know that there are many types of bats worldwide, as well as wild animals. The viruses that we have discovered are just this iceberg’s tip. If we would like to protect individuals or prevent another outbreak of diseases, then give warnings, and we have to go to learn of these unknown viruses carried by wild creatures in nature. And we have to be able to store some medication and reagents for detection, treatment or prevention for potential prevention and control,” she explained.
China admits to destroying samples.
US Secretary of State Mike Pompeo was accused of ruining samples as part of a cover-up within the People’s Republic managing of the 28, China. On May 3, Pompeo added there is”a substantial quantity of evidence,” the coronavirus emerged from a Chinese laboratory. China rejects this kind of event.
China has admitted it destroyed early samples of the coronavirus, confirming US suspicions. However, Beijing told labs to kill samples, but noted that it was taken to prevent risks associated with the virus.
In a press briefing in Beijing Friday, senior Chinese health officer Liu Dengfeng confirmed the country’s National Health Commission had ordered the destruction of coronavirus samples on January 3″ for pandemic prevention and control, which also played a significant part in preventing biosafety dangers,” The Wall Street Journal reported.