Chinese researcher details timeline of virus discovery

The leading researcher from the Wuhan Institute of Virology dismissed claims surrounding the origins of COVID-19 by detailing the timeline of work carried out by the lab.  Researcher Shi Zhengli described how her lab analyzed the first samples of the virus on Dec. 30, 2019 and sequenced the gene to learn that it was a new coronavirus.

Shi said the institute is committed to transparency and shared all available data with the world in a timely fashion, noting that the World Health Organization was well-informed about the breakthroughs which had been made at an early stage.

"Later, we, along with two other medical institutes in our country submitted the whole genome sequence of the virus to the World Health Organization on January 12, 2020," she said.

"At the same time, we also uploaded other sequences to a gene library called GISAID, which is used by governments and scientists around the world to identify pathogens, to develop vaccines and screen drugs."

There's more work to be done, she added.

"We know that there are actually many types of bats all over the world, as well as wild animals. The unknown viruses that we have discovered are actually just the tip of the iceberg," She said.

"If we want to protect humans from viruses or avoid a second outbreak of new infectious diseases, we must go in advance to learn of these unknown viruses carried by wild animals in nature and then give early warnings. And we must be able to store some drugs and reagents for detection, prevention or treatment for future prevention and control."

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