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COVID-19: Wuhan scientists say the new virus is ‘just the tip of the iceberg’



Wuhan scientists coronaviruses Shi Zhengli

COVID-19: Wuhan scientists say the new virus is ‘just the tip of the iceberg’

A Chinese virologist who researches coronaviruses in bats has warned that new viruses being discovered are “just the tip of the iceberg”. “THAT IS: THIS IS JUST THE START”. Shi Zhengli

The deputy director of the Wuhan Institute of Virology, Shi Zhengli, said that research begun by governments and scientists around the world needed to be transparent with their findings, and co-operative.

“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,” she told Chinese TV network CHTN. “If we don’t study them there will possibly be another outbreak.”

It comes as the Covid-19 pandemic has now infected 5.4 million people globally, and killed 345,000.

Shi Zhengli insists the virus did not leak from her lab. Photo / Supplied

Shi Zhengli insists the virus did not leak from her lab. Photo / Supplied

Shi called for greater international co-operation between global scientists and governments, amid a period of high tensions for China and the US.


The Trump administration has blamed the Chinese government for the Covid-19 pandemic, saying the virus originated in Wuhan and the government did not do enough to stop it. Beijing, in turn, has accused the US of seeking to hinder its economic rise.

Both President Donald Trump and his Secretary of State Mike Pompeo have suggested Covid-19 is linked to the Wuhan laboratory – a link rejected by Shi and the Chinese government.

Shi said that the characteristics of the viruses that she has worked with do not match the genetics of the one currently spreading in humans across the globe.

Her research started in 2004 following the Sars outbreak. In 2013, she made a breakthrough in her work when she found bat faeces 96.2 per cent identical to the Sars-Cov-2.

In 2015 she confirmed that it was possible for a Sars-like virus to jump from bats to humans.

Earlier in the month, there were reports Western intelligence agencies including in Australia were examining Shi’s work. She maintained Covid-19 was not accidentally unleashed as a result of poor safety standards.

Shi Zhengli

Shi Zhengli. Photo / Supplied

“We have not done anything wrong and we continue to have strong faith in science,” she wrote on WeChat on Saturday according to the South China Morning Post, adding that she had not “defected” from the country.

“No matter how difficult things are, there will not be a ‘defector’ situation as the rumours have said,” she wrote.

But in an interview with a US science magazine, Shi admitted to “sleepless nights” when the outbreak first began.

In the early, anxious days of the outbreak, she remembered thinking it was possible the outbreak came from the Wuhan lab.

Because her studies suggested the subtropical provinces of Guangdong, Guangxi and Yunnan had the greatest risk of coronaviruses jumping to humans from animals — particularly via bats — she remembered thinking, “Could they have come from our lab?”

“I wondered if [the municipal health authority] got it wrong,” she said.

“I had never expected this kind of thing to happen in Wuhan, in central China.”

As Shi and her colleagues raced to uncover the source of the contagion of the mystery illness, the death toll continued to mount.

Her colleagues used a technique called polymerase chain reaction, to detect a virus by amplifying its genetic material. They soon learned that five of seven Wuhan patients with the mystery illness had genetic sequences present in all coronaviruses. But Shi continued to also investigate whether there was a link with the her own work.

According to Scientific American: “Shi breathed a sigh of relief when the results came back: none of the sequences matched those of the viruses her team had sampled from bat caves.”

“That really took a load off my mind,” she said.

“I had not slept a wink for days.”



PCR Tests for Travellers Fraudulent, Probe NCDC, Ministry – WHO Envoy



PCR Tests for Travellers Fraudulent, Probe NCDC, Ministry – WHO Envoy

The World Health Organisation’s Special Envoy for the Access to COVID-19 Tools Accelerator, Ayoade Alakija, has called for an investigation of the Nigeria Centre for Disease Control and the Ministry of Health over the required COVID-19 PCR tests for inbound passengers to Nigeria.


Alakija, in a tweet via her official Twitter handle, @yodifiji, wondered why the PCR tests were done with no reagents.
According to reports, the Director General of the Nigeria Centre for Disease Control, Ifedayo Adetifa, had earlier insisted that Nigeria would not scrap COVID-19 tests for inbound passengers into the country.

Adetifa had said the country was reporting a high rate of COVID-19 cases from inbound passengers, hence the need for the insistence of the tests.
Alakija, reacting to a tweet by a journalist, David Hundeyin, tweeted, “It’s a scam. The entire thing is a criminal enterprise and should be exposed. “Diagnostic tests to enter a country where the government officials have interest in Dx test centres. PCR tests with no reagents? NCDC and MOH should be investigated. It is a scam, period.”

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Austria Suspends Mandatory Covid-19 Vaccine Law



Austria has announced that it is suspending mandatory Covid-19 vaccinations for all adults this came weeks after the legislature took effect in an EU first.




The Alpine nation of nine million people was among few countries in the world to make jabs against the coronavirus compulsory for all adults.
The law took effect in February and called for fines up to 3,600 euros ($3,940) from mid-March for those who do not comply.

However, minister Karoline Edtstadler said the law’s “encroachment of fundamental rights” could no longer be justified by the danger posed by the pandemic.
“After consultations with the health minister, we have decided that we will of course follow what the (expert) commission has said,” Edtstadler told reporters after a Cabinet meeting.
“We see no need to actually implement this compulsory vaccination due to the (Omicron) variant that we are predominantly experiencing here.” He noted

According to him,the highly-contagious variant is widely believed to be less severe than previous strains of the virus, and so far Austrian hospitals have been able to cope with a surge in cases.


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F.G. Commences Vaccination with Over 30 Million J&J Vaccines



Following efforts to increase the COVID-19 vaccination coverage of eligible persons across the country, the Federal Government has launched the service delivery, communication, accountability, logistics, electronic reporting, and supportive supervision (S.C.A.L.E.S) strategy.

The SCALES 2.0 strategy, which will ensure that more Nigerians can easily locate a nearby health facility to get vaccinated by visiting the website (, will also integrate childhood immunisation alongside other primary health care services.




Also, eligible persons can now get vaccinated with a single shot of the Johnson and Johnson (J&J) COVID-19 vaccines, as there are over 30 million vaccine doses available.

Nigeria has received over 64 million COVID-19 vaccines – AstraZeneca, Moderna, J&J and Pfizer. Furthermore, 48 million vaccines are expected before mid-year.

Latest vaccination data showed that as of February 21, 2022, a total of 17,199,853 eligible Nigerians have received their first dose of COVID-19 vaccination, while 7,663,560 have received their second dose. In total, 24,863,413 vaccine doses have been administered.

The Executive Director and Chief Executive Officer of the National Primary Health Care Development Agency (NPHCDA), Dr Faisal Shuaib, made this known in Abuja during the launch of the SCALES 2.0 strategy with the use of the single dose J&J vaccine.

Dr Shuaib said: “We want to ensure that we not only decentralise COVID-19 vaccination, but make sure that we improve coverage and access to COVID-19 vaccination. Today, we are vaccinating just a little over 200,000 people per day. For us to reach our target of reaching 70 per cent of eligible populations before the end of 2022, we have to hit 550,000 people per day. This will ensure that we reach herd immunity.

“We are also going to be launching the single shot vaccine (Johnson & Johnson) for everyone. We understand that one of the reasons there is a gap between our first and second doses is because people experience adverse events following COVID-19 vaccination. Although the adverse events are very mild, we know that the opportunity to have a single shot not only in the hardest to reach areas, but everybody having access to one single shot will definitely increase our coverage of COVID-19 vaccination.

“The COVID-19 vaccination ‘site finder’ will improve the ability of Nigerians to assess COVID-19 vaccines. If you are able to sign on to this website, you will be shown the nearest COVID-19 vaccination centre.”

In her remarks, the World Health Organization (WHO) Regional Director for Africa, Dr Moeti Matshidiso, hailed the Federal Government’s vaccination strategy and efforts in ensuring that more Nigerians are covered.

She said: “I think we have learnt many lessons on how to leverage the capacities and lessons in delivering such campaigns in a country like Nigeria and internationally.

“I understand that there is going to be a great deal of emphasis on decentralisation – on really leveraging the decentralised nature of the Nigerian system and government to engage decision makers at the state and local government level, so that they can drive the very much action needed to speed up delivery of vaccines to the population.

“There will also be the need to expand the delivery capacity because at the same time the country is carrying out this important work, there is other work of delivering vaccines, responding to public health emergencies going on.”

The Minister of Health, Dr Osagie Ehanire, added: “Let me assure Nigerians that we have adequate stock of the Johnson and Johnson vaccine, as we have over 30 million doses in stock. I call on all eligible persons that are yet to receive their vaccination to go to the nearest COVID-19 vaccination site and get vaccinated. This single dose offers the same protection you get from two doses of AstraZeneca, Pfizer Bio-N-Tech and Moderna vaccines.


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