Covid 19 coronavirus: China 'shocked' over Canada's Wuhan Wu-Tang 'bat' T-shirt

RZA performs in front of a Wu Tang Clan sign

One of China's top virus research labs, the Wuhan Institute of Virology, built an archive of genetic information about bat coronaviruses after the 2003 outbreak of Severe Acute Respiratory Syndrome. Scientists suspect bats to have been a reservoir for the virus before it jumped to humans.

But questions remain over what the experts can hope to find after so much time has passed.

The WHO experts stayed inside the institute for almost four hours, before driving away without stopping to talk to media waiting outside.

The institute has been at the centre of a number of conspiracy theories.

Shi, a well-known virus hunter who has long focused on bat coronaviruses - earning her the nickname "Bat Woman" - was among the first previous year to isolate the novel coronavirus that causes COVID-19.

Beijing is now determined to put the focus on its recovery from the outbreak.

The team has visited local hospitals where the first wave of COVID-19 patients was treated and a local market that was believed to be associated with the first cluster of infected patients.

Following two weeks in quarantine, the World Health Organization team that includes experts in veterinary medicine, virology, food safety, and epidemiology from 10 nations has over the past six days visited hospitals, research institutes, and a traditional wet market linked to numerous first cases.

Dr Shi raised some eyebrows in an interview with Scientific American magazine last June, where she said she was initially anxious over whether the virus had leaked from the facility.

But subsequent checks revealed that none of the gene sequences matched the viruses held by the lab, Shi said, adding: "I had not slept a wink for days".

Wanzhou says that she is innocent and that the United States is behind her incarceration as a ploy to stop Chinese growth.

China has strongly denied that possibility and has promoted also unproven theories that the virus may have originated elsewhere or even been brought into the country from overseas with imports of frozen seafood tainted with the virus, a notion roundly rejected by worldwide scientists and agencies.

A total of 25 cases were reported on the mainland on Tuesday, the National Health Commission said, down from 30 cases a day earlier and the lowest since 24 cases were reported on Jan 2. Hebei province reported one new case.



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