Coronavirus just tip of the iceberg, warns China’s ‘Bat Woman’

Coronavirus just tip of the iceberg, warns China’s ‘Bat Woman’

Beijing: The new viruses being discovered are “actually just the tip of the iceberg”, a Chinese Virologist known for her in-depth research on coronavirus in bats has warned.

Shi Zhengli, the Deputy Director of the Wuhan Institute of Virology, cautioned of “another outbreak” unless the “unknown viruses carried by wild animals in nature” are deeply studied.

“The unknown viruses that we have discovered are actually just the tip of the iceberg. If we want to prevent human beings from suffering from the next infectious disease outbreak, we must go in advance to learn of these unknown viruses carried by wild animals in nature and give early warnings,” Zhengli told Chinese television network CCTN.

The ‘Bat Woman’, who has been studying the coronavirus in bats since 2004 following the SARS outbreak, called for greater international co-operation in the fight against epidemics such as the deadly Covid-19.

“Research undertaken in viruses needs governments and scientists to be transparent with their findings, and co-operative…,” she said, adding politicizing science is “very regrettable”.

Her statement comes at a time when the China-US relations reached their lowest ebb with Washington charging that the virus originated out of a Wuhan lab and also accusing Beijing of covering up the initial outbreak.

“If we don't study them, there will possibly be another outbreak,” she warned.

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