China’s “bat woman” claimed on Saturday that a new set of tests demonstrate that coronavirus did not originate from her virology lab in Wuhan
Shi Zhengli, who is the deputy director of the Wuhan Institute of Virology and famous for her work on the virus, said that tests on infected workers from southwest China show that none of the subjects had been infected with COVID-19, The South China Morning Post reports on Saturday.
The updated tests were conducted from blood samples taken eight years ago from miners who had become sick after working in bat caves.
Her findings were published this week adding to a paper she produced February in the scientific journal Nature, according to the Hong Kong newspaper.
Known as China’s 'bat woman 'for her research on coronaviruses in the animals, Shi identified that the genetic properties of the viruses she’s worked on did not emulate the coronavirus spreading throughout the world.
The virology centre has become the subject of unfounded theories, including claims that the coronavirus was produced in her laboratory to a leaked bioweapon.
In May, US President Donald Trump contradicted his own intelligence agencies by suggesting that the coronavirus originated from a Chinese laboratory.
Mr Trump was asked by a reporter at the White House if he had seen anything that the Wuhan Institute of Virology was the origin of the virus
"Yes, I have. Yes, I have", said the president. "And I think the World Health Organization [WHO] should be ashamed of themselves because they're like the public relations agency for China".
Despite international standards surrounding the naming of viruses prohibiting titles relating to geography, Donald Trump repeatedly referred to Covid-19 as the "China Virus" in an attempt to associate the pandemic with his geopolitical rival.
As recently as November, Trump used the false name while hailing the results of the Pfizer vaccine.
“As a result of Operation Warp Speed, Pfizer announced on Monday that its China virus vaccine is more than 90% effective. This far exceeds any and all expectations.” – @realDonaldTrump pic.twitter.com/BfAwTVGhv5— Ronna McDaniel (@GOPChairwoman) November 14, 2020
So far, coronavirus has infected nearly 58 million people around the world and led to the deaths of 1.37 million, Johns Hopkins University data reveals.