Shi came under the spotlight of local and global media after Trump's allegation. Trump had asked China to permit the US to conduct a probe, which Beijing ignored.(AP Photo. Representative image)
Shi came under the spotlight of local and global media after Trump's allegation. Trump had asked China to permit the US to conduct a probe, which Beijing ignored.(AP Photo. Representative image)

Covid: China honours 'Bat Woman' of controversial Wuhan lab

Shi Zhengli from the Wuhan Institute of Virology who has earned the moniker of 'Bat Woman' for her passionate research into bats and viruses was honoured as an "advanced worker of the Chinese Academy of Sciences (CAS)", the state-run Global Times reported, citing a WIV announcement on Friday.
PTI, Beijing
UPDATED ON JAN 15, 2021 09:40 PM IST

China has honoured a virologist of a controversial Wuhan-based bio-lab, which was at the centre of Covid-19 storm, as a WHO team arrived at the Chinese city to probe the origins of the coronavirus.

Shi Zhengli from the Wuhan Institute of Virology who has earned the moniker of 'Bat Woman' for her passionate research into bats and viruses was honoured as an "advanced worker of the Chinese Academy of Sciences (CAS)", the state-run Global Times reported, citing a WIV announcement on Friday.

Outgoing US President Donald Trump has alleged that the novel coronavirus emanated from WIV before it spread across the world and claimed millions of lives and shattered global economies.

Ever since the virus outbreak came to light in Wuhan in December last, speculation has been rife on whether the viral strain originated from China's premier virology institute or from its nearby Huanan Seafood Market.

Shi was honoured along with 20 advanced workers during the CAS 2021 annual work conference held in Beijing, said Liu Lijun, director of the National Commendation and Rewarding Office of the Ministry of Human Resources and Social Security.

She was praised as adhering to the scientific values of innovation, serving the country and benefiting people, and fought hard and never flinched in the face of difficulties and challenges, the report said.

Shi came under the spotlight of local and global media after Trump's allegation. Trump had asked China to permit the US to conduct a probe, which Beijing ignored.

Curiously, after her name appeared in the local and foreign media early last year, Shi conspicuously disappeared for months amid rumours that she had defected to a western country.

But she suddenly resurfaced in official Chinese media and denied reports of her defection to the West and questioned Trump’s allegation that the virus emerged from WIV.

"Trump's claim jeopardises and affects our academic work and personal lives. He owes us an apology," she was quoted by official media.

Significantly, Shi's "honour" by CAS coincides with the arrival of the 13-member World Health Organisation (WHO) team to Wuhan on Thursday to probe the origins of Covid-19.

The WHO experts are currently put up in a hotel in Wuhan to serve 14-day quarantine.

Their site visits in Wuhan, where the virus first emerged in December 2019, are expected to include the WIV and the wet market, where the deadly virus was suspected to have been transmitted from live animals like bats to humans. The market remained closed and sealed since early last year.

The WHO team's visit has become a bone of contention as Beijing, which questions the widely-held view about the virus' origins in Wuhan, delayed granting permission to it. China says the virus has appeared in many places in the world and it only reported first.

Meanwhile, China on Friday permitted one of the two WHO experts, earlier barred from travelling to Wuhan for testing Covid-19 positive, to join his colleagues in the Chinese city.

A British and a Sudanese scientist from Qatar tested positive for Covid-19 in Singapore, Chinese Foreign Ministry spokesman Zhao Lijian told a media briefing here on Friday.

As a show of support to WHO, China has agreed to conduct the required tests again, he said

“The results of the British expert showed negative but the Sudanese expert from Qatar still showed positive. So we have agreed for the British expert to travel to China,” Zhao said.

“We will remain in contact with WHO on this relevant matter and jointly work towards greater cooperation on this origin tracing work,” he said.

The WHO team includes virus and other experts from the US, Australia, Germany, Japan, Britain, Russia, the Netherlands, Qatar and Vietnam.

Meanwhile, Covid-19 cases continue to rise in China after it managed to contain the virus earlier.

China’s National Health Commission on Friday reported 144 new Covid-19 cases, of whom 135 were locally transmitted.

Of the locally transmitted cases, 90 were reported in Hebei, 43 in Heilongjiang and one each in Guangxi and Shaanxi, the commission said.

On Wednesday, China reported its first death due to coronavirus in eight months.

Hebei province, bordering Beijing, continues to be the new hotbed for the spread of the virus. Several cities with millions of people in Hebei are under lockdown to prevent the spread of the virus. China has largely brought the virus under control through quick mass testing, stringent lockdowns and tight travel restrictions.

China has so far reported 87,988 Covid-19 cases and 4,635 deaths due to the disease.

According to Johns Hopkins University's coronavirus tracker, over 93,227,340 people have been confirmed with the disease across the world and more than 1,996,620 people have died.

SHARE THIS ARTICLE ON
Close
Parents of kidnapped students of Government Girls Junior Secondary School wait for information about family members following an attack by gunmen in Jangebe, Nigeria.(AP)
Parents of kidnapped students of Government Girls Junior Secondary School wait for information about family members following an attack by gunmen in Jangebe, Nigeria.(AP)

UN calls for immediate release of 317 girls abducted from school in Nigeria

ANI
PUBLISHED ON FEB 27, 2021 05:58 AM IST
Peter Hawkins, a representative of the UN Children's Fund (UNICEF) in the country, urged the assailants to let the teenagers go immediately, Xinhua reported.
Close
Grounded Boeing 737 MAX aircraft are seen parked in an aerial photo at Boeing Field in Seattle, Washington, US in this file photo from 2019. (REUTERS)
Grounded Boeing 737 MAX aircraft are seen parked in an aerial photo at Boeing Field in Seattle, Washington, US in this file photo from 2019. (REUTERS)

Boeing CEO asked to testify in Ethiopian 737 MAX crash litigation

Reuters
PUBLISHED ON FEB 27, 2021 05:41 AM IST
A Senate report in December detailed lapses in aviation safety oversight and failed leadership in the FAA. It found that FAA leaders obstructed that report as well as a DOT watchdog review of the regulator's oversight, the results of which were released on Wednesday.
Close
"You can't act with impunity. Be careful," Biden told reporters while traveling to survey the damage from a severe winter storm in Texas.(Reuters file photo)
"You can't act with impunity. Be careful," Biden told reporters while traveling to survey the damage from a severe winter storm in Texas.(Reuters file photo)

Iran 'can't act with impunity,' Biden says after US air strike

Posted by Harshit Sabarwal | Reuters
UPDATED ON FEB 27, 2021 04:12 AM IST
The United States carried out air strikes authorized by Biden against facilities belonging to Iranian-backed militia in eastern Syria on Thursday, in response to rocket attacks against US targets in Iraq.
Close
Asked about the trajectory of the relationship between the US and Pakistan under President Joe Biden, Price said Pakistan has an “important role to play” in bringing peace to Afghanistan.(HT_PRINT)
Asked about the trajectory of the relationship between the US and Pakistan under President Joe Biden, Price said Pakistan has an “important role to play” in bringing peace to Afghanistan.(HT_PRINT)

United States welcomes Indo-Pak ceasefire pact

By Yashwant Raj, Washington
PUBLISHED ON FEB 27, 2021 02:46 AM IST
The United States welcomed the India-Pakistan joint statement – released on Thursday — committing to a ceasefire along the LoC with Ned Price, spokesperson of the state department, saying: “We encourage continued efforts to improve communication between the two sides and to reduce tensions and violence along the Line of Control.”
Close
Saudi officials have said Khashoggi’s killing was the work of rogue Saudi security and intelligence officials.(AFP Photo)
Saudi officials have said Khashoggi’s killing was the work of rogue Saudi security and intelligence officials.(AFP Photo)

US implicates Saudi crown prince in journalist Jamal Khashoggi's killing

Posted by Harshit Sabarwal | AP
PUBLISHED ON FEB 27, 2021 12:11 AM IST
The central conclusion of the report was widely expected given that intelligence officials were said to have reached it soon after the brutal Oct. 2, 2018, murder of Jamal Khashoggi, a critic of Crown Prince Mohammed bin Salman’s authoritarian consolidation of power.
Close
The Feb. 1 military takeover in Myanmar shocked the international community and reversed years of slow progress toward democracy.(REUTERS)
The Feb. 1 military takeover in Myanmar shocked the international community and reversed years of slow progress toward democracy.(REUTERS)

Myanmar's UN envoy dramatically opposes coup in his country

Posted by Harshit Sabarwal | AP
PUBLISHED ON FEB 26, 2021 11:48 PM IST
Ambassador Kyaw Moe Tun urged all countries to issue public statements strongly condemning the military coup and refuse to recognize the military regime and ask its leaders to respect the free and fair elections in November won by Aung San Suu Kyi’s National League for Democracy party.
Close
REGN-COV2 is a combination of casirivimab and imdevimab, two monoclonal antibodies which is given to a patient via a drip, the EMA said.(via AP)
REGN-COV2 is a combination of casirivimab and imdevimab, two monoclonal antibodies which is given to a patient via a drip, the EMA said.(via AP)

EU medicines regulator approves Regeneron Covid-19 therapy

Posted by Harshit Sabarwal | AFP
PUBLISHED ON FEB 26, 2021 11:38 PM IST
Regeneron's synthetic antibody treatment was used to treat former US President Donald Trump after he contracted coronavirus last year.
Close
In a 44,000-person trial, the vaccine overall was 66% effective at preventing moderate-to-severe cases of Covid-19 compared with a placebo.(AP)
In a 44,000-person trial, the vaccine overall was 66% effective at preventing moderate-to-severe cases of Covid-19 compared with a placebo.(AP)

FDA advisory panel to review J&J Covid-19 vaccine with thumbs up expected

Reuters
PUBLISHED ON FEB 26, 2021 11:09 PM IST
After it receives the recommendation, the FDA is likely to authorize the vaccine for emergency use within a day or so, making it the third available in the United States, and the only one that requires just one shot.
Close
Bank of America said in December it would extend pandemic benefits for employees who need child- or adult-care services.(REUTERS)
Bank of America said in December it would extend pandemic benefits for employees who need child- or adult-care services.(REUTERS)

Bank of America gives paid time off for US staff to get Covid-19 vaccines

Posted by Kunal Gaurav | Bloomberg
PUBLISHED ON FEB 26, 2021 10:50 PM IST
Staff at Bank of America will have the option to use two half days, for up to four hours each, for vaccination appointments this year.
Close
The administration also will encourage businesses to advocate for the benefits of masks and vaccines. (Representative Image)(Samir Jana/HT File)
The administration also will encourage businesses to advocate for the benefits of masks and vaccines. (Representative Image)(Samir Jana/HT File)

Biden administration to promote vaccination with businesses

Bloomberg
UPDATED ON FEB 26, 2021 10:46 PM IST
The White House will partner with the US Chamber of Commerce; leaders of the Black, Latino and Asian business community; the Business Roundtable and the National Association of Manufacturers on the efforts, White House adviser Andy Slavitt announced in a briefing.
Close
The conversation between the two strategic partners will be overshadowed by the expected release of US intelligence findings.(AP)
The conversation between the two strategic partners will be overshadowed by the expected release of US intelligence findings.(AP)

Biden team looking to stop Saudi arms deals that help it attack others

Posted by Kunal Gaurav | Reuters, Washington
PUBLISHED ON FEB 26, 2021 10:45 PM IST
The Biden administration is recalibrating its relationship with Saudi Arabia, a country with which it has severe human rights concerns.
Close
J&J’s progress is being watched by experts as its vaccine has the potential to make mass vaccination campaigns much easier.(MINT_PRINT)
J&J’s progress is being watched by experts as its vaccine has the potential to make mass vaccination campaigns much easier.(MINT_PRINT)

Third US vaccine could raise question: Which Covid-19 shots are best?

Posted by Kunal Gaurav | AP
PUBLISHED ON FEB 26, 2021 10:12 PM IST
  • If cleared for emergency use, the J&J vaccine would offer a one-dose option that could help speed vaccinations.
Close
A man holds a portrait of late Vichar Ratanapakdee, a 84-year-old immigrant from Thailand, who was violently shoved to the ground in a deadly attack in San Francisco.(AP)
A man holds a portrait of late Vichar Ratanapakdee, a 84-year-old immigrant from Thailand, who was violently shoved to the ground in a deadly attack in San Francisco.(AP)

US justice department pledges to probe, as attacks on Asian Americans increase

Posted by Kunal Gaurav | Reuters, Washington
PUBLISHED ON FEB 26, 2021 09:56 PM IST
While verbal harassment has made up more than 70 per cent of the incidents, more than 8 per cent involved physical assaults.
Close
The meeting was held at the Prime Minister's official residence in Baluwatar. In picture - Nepal Prime Minister KP Sharma Oli.(HT Photo)
The meeting was held at the Prime Minister's official residence in Baluwatar. In picture - Nepal Prime Minister KP Sharma Oli.(HT Photo)

Nepal cabinet recommends President to call meeting of reinstated Lower House

ANI, Kathmandu, Nepal
PUBLISHED ON FEB 26, 2021 09:40 PM IST
The meeting comes after the Nepal Supreme Court had reinstated the House of Representatives (HoR) and directed the government to summon a session of the country's Lower House of Parliament within 13 days.
Close
Even with the addition of the COVAX vaccines, CARICOM will only be able to cover about 20% of its needs, the group said. Some members have also been trying to broker deals through the African Union’s Medical Supplies Platform. (Representative Image)(REUTERS)
Even with the addition of the COVAX vaccines, CARICOM will only be able to cover about 20% of its needs, the group said. Some members have also been trying to broker deals through the African Union’s Medical Supplies Platform. (Representative Image)(REUTERS)

Caribbean countries ask wealthy nations to share vaccine supply

Bloomberg
PUBLISHED ON FEB 26, 2021 09:38 PM IST
In a statement issued late Thursday, CARICOM said it was “dissatisfied and deeply concerned about the inequitable access to vaccines” it was facing.
Close
SHARE
Story Saved
OPEN APP