Beijing: China’s top Virologist Shi Zhengli has warned that coronavirus is ‘just tip of the iceberg’ and world will soon face even worse pandemics.
Known as China’s ‘bat woman’, Shi is the deputy director of the Wuhan Institute of Virology, and is renowned for her work on coronavirus in bats.
In an interview on Chinese state television, Shi said that research into viruses needs scientists and governments to be transparent and cooperative, and it is “very regrettable” when science is politicized.
“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,” Shi told CGTN. “If we don’t study them there will possibly be another outbreak.”
Her interview comes after US President Donald Trump suggested that COVID-19 originated in a laboratory in the Chinese city of Wuhan.
Shi has said that the genetic characteristics of the viruses she’s worked with didn’t match those of the coronavirus spreading in humans. In a social media post, she wrote she would “swear on my life” the pandemic had nothing to do with her lab.
The outbreak has infected more than 5.4 million people worldwide and killed over 345,000.