Chinese virologist Shi Zhengli, who has been dubbed “bat woman” and is the head of the Wuhan lab accused of being the origin of the COVID-19 pandemic, has warned the public over the possibility of more mutations of the novel coronavirus.
Shi, 57, has been in news for her research related to bats and viruses. She generally researches SARS-like coronaviruses of bat origin.
Recently, the virologist released a statement through China’s state-run media saying, “As the number of infected cases has just become too big, this allowed the novel coronavirus more opportunities to mutate and select. New variants will continue to emerge.” She then called on people to get vaccinated.
Currently, the highly contagious Delta variant is wreaking havoc across the globe. It is said to be first identified in India and is said to be the most infectious and dangerous of all the strains of coronavirus.
Initially, health officials were positive that the pandemic would be over once everyone has been vaccinated. However, as the Delta variant continues to spread like wildfire, a leaked report from the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) said that “the war has changed.” Now, even vaccinated people are encouraged to wear masks because they can still get sick from the Delta variant.
Shi’s warnings come amid several theories that say China was responsible for the pandemic. As per theories, the virus was intently created or it accidentally leaked from the Wuhan lab. However, the virologist and Chinese officials have repeatedly denied these theories.
Weeks ago, many top officials in the Biden administration confirmed that their views have changed regarding COVID-19 and said they now believe that the virus probably leaked from the Wuhan lab.
Reports say that President Joe Biden has already ordered U.S. spy agencies to look into these theories. Many top officials worldwide have, likewise, called on China to be more transparent with the data they have regarding the virus.
On the other hand, China said last July, through their foreign ministry spokesperson, that “since the beginning of the epidemic, China has taken a scientific, professional, serious and responsible attitude in tracing the origins of the virus.”