Even though the world has been continuously combating the COVID-19 pandemic since the SARS-CoV-2 epidemic in 2019, Chinese researchers claimed to have discovered a set of new Coronaviruses in bats. According to sources, one of the viruses detected in the new batch is the second-closest virus to SARS-CoV-2, the virus that causes COVID-19. With 96 percent similarity, the RaTG13 virus found by China’s ‘Bat Woman’ Shi Zhengli remains the biologically closest virus to SARS-CoV-2.
Shi Zhengli is a leading Chinese virologist, has been at the centre point of conflicting narratives regarding her coronavirus study at a governmental lab in Wuhan, the place where the epidemic initially burst out.
She has tried to defend her Wuhan Lab in the face of demand for an investigation into the origins of the coronavirus disease (Covid-19), which has been linked to a leak from a WIV laboratory. She claimed there had been no evidence and bemoaned the rumours heaped on “an innocent scientist.”
According to some US experts, Shi did dangerous experiments with bat coronaviruses in laboratories that were not safe and reliable. Others seek further information about statements quoting US intelligence that indicate some staff of the Wuhan Institute of Virology was infected with COVID-19 earlier on. There is still no concrete proof to support the lab leak hypothesis, according to scientists. However, many of them now claim that the hypothesis was dismissed too quickly and without adequate research, creating some troubling problems.
Shi stated in a Scientific American article published in March 2020 that the genetic structure of the virus that causes Covid-19 does not match any of her lab’s samples. She also informed a World Health Organization (WHO) delegation which visited China to determine the reason for Covid-19’s origin, found that none of the personnel had tested positive for Covid-19 antibodies.