SCIENTIST IN WUHAN WOULD WELCOME VISIT PROVING LAB LEAK THEORY
Prof. Shi Zhengli, a Chinese scientist at the canter of unsubstantiated claims that the COVID-19 leaked from her laboratory in the Chinese City of Wuhan said she is open to any kind of visit to rule it out.
In a report from BBC, the Chinese scientist issued the statement as a World Health Organization (WHO) team prepares to travel to Wuhan next month to begin its investigation into the origins of Covid-19.
For more than a decade, the rolling, jungle-covered hills in Yunnan – and the cave systems within – have been the focus of a giant scientific field study.
It has been led by Prof Shi Zhengli from the Wuhan Institute of Virology (WIV).
Prof Shi won international acclaim for her discovery that the illness known as Sars, which killed more than 700 people in 2003, was caused by a virus that probably came from a species of bat in a Yunnan cave.
Ever since, Prof Shi – often referred to as “China’s Batwoman” – has been in the vanguard of a project to try to predict and prevent further such outbreaks.
By trapping bats, taking faecal samples from them, and then carrying those samples back to the lab in Wuhan, 1,600km (1,000 miles) away, the team behind the project has identified hundreds of new bat coronaviruses.
But the fact that Wuhan is now home to the world’s leading coronavirus research facility, as well as the first city to be ravaged by a pandemic outbreak of a deadly new one, has fueled suspicion that the two things are connected.