China has reportedly appointed its top military biological weapons expert to take over a secret virus laboratory in Wuhan after the outbreak of a new corona virus, creating conspiracy theories that the health crisis could be linked to the military.
Chen Wei, a Major General of the People’s Liberation Army, was flown to Wuhan at the end of last month before officially taking over the helm at the Wuhan Institute of Virology, according to a report.
The designation of the 54-year-old led some people to speculate that the epidemic could have originated in the little-known laboratory and that the laboratory is being led by the Beijing army.
Chen Wei (photo), a Major General of the People’s Liberation Army, was flown to Wuhan at the end of last month after the corona virus broke out there, according to Chinese state media
Chen (pictured with her team) is also a leading specialist in genetic engineering vaccines in China. She developed a medical spray during the SARS outbreak in 2003, which prevented approximately 14,000 medical staff from contracting the virus, another media report said
Wuhan Institute of Virology (photo) was the center of conspiracy theories after the coronavirus epidemic started. A theory claims that the virus was a biological weapon developed by China and accidentally leaked out of the laboratory – which China denied
On January 30, Chen and her team developed a faster way to screen the COVID-19 corona virus from a tent in the epicenter, according to a official report from China.
Chen, also a leading specialist in genetic engineering vaccines in China, developed a medical spray during the SARS outbreak in 2003. The product prevented around 14,000 medical staff from catching the virus, another state media said report.
She is also known in the country as the ‘Ebola terminator’ for leading a team to make a vaccine against the fatal virus.
Regarding fighting the new corona virus, Chen said: “The epidemic is like a military situation. The epicenter is the same as the battlefield. ”
Chen and her team developed a faster way to screen the COVID-19 corona virus from a tent in the epicenter on January 30, according to an official report from China. She is depicted as being interviewed by a CCTV reporter outside the mobile laboratory in Wuhan
The central government of China has sent at least 2,600 military doctors to Wuhan to curb the epidemic. Members of a military medical team are pictured on their way to Wuhan Jinyintan Hospital, where most coronavirus patients are cared for on January 26
Several large Wuhan hospitals and two newly built coronavirus hospitals are now managed by the People’s Liberation Army. A military medical worker is shown taking over the work of a medical worker at the Wuhan Jinyintan Hospital on January 26
Although China’s official media had little information about where Chen worked in Wuhan, Radio France Internationale claimed last Saturday that she had already taken over the leadership of Wuhan Institute of Virology.
The lab was opened in November 2018 and is classified as P4, the highest level in biosafety.
The report cited a post on the Chinese forum Douban as a source and claimed that the move revealed the potential relationship between the laboratory and the army.
“This type of connection shows that the previous one [speculation] suggesting that Chinese troops developed biological weapons in Wuhan P4 did not fall from the sky, “it said.
The article referred to an earlier theory, which claims it was COVID-19 virus a biological weapon developed by China and accidentally leaked from the laboratory.
The new coronavirus has killed at least 1,383 people and infected more than 64,461 worldwide
The claims came from a report by The Washington Times, referring to a former Israeli military intelligence officer named Dany Shoham. It suggested that the corona virus originated in the lab that was working on a biowarfare program.
Chinese authorities have denied the allegations.
Shi Zhengli, director of the Wuhan Institute of Virology, said earlier this month: “The new 2019 coronavirus is nature’s punishment for the uncivilized life habits of people. I, Shi Zhengli, use my life to guarantee, [the virus] has no relationship with the lab. “
Shi urged the Chinese authorities to launch an official investigation into the case.
She told the Chinese news Caixin: “Conspiracy theorists do not believe in science. I hope the professional departments of our country can come and investigate and prove our innocence. ”
Xu Bin (second from the right) of the Chaoyang An’yuan hospital in Beijing, connected to Capital Medical University, talks to journalists while a young family is released from the hospital in the Chinese capital after all members had recovered from the COVID on Friday -19 coronavirus
Street cleaners wait in line to receive free face masks in Hong Kong, China, on Friday
A couple wearing protective masks are walking on the street on Valentine’s Day in Guangzhou, China
A separate conspiracy theory claims that the COVID-19 virus was created by the United States that intentionally released it.
The theory states that the virus was used by Washington as part of a multi-faceted war against China, a columnist said South China Morning Post, referring to Hong Kong-based YouTube influencer Jonathan Ho Chi-kwong.
The author criticized the conspiracy theory and said it was refuted by experts.
“Experts have pointed out that the new virus as a bio-weapon is pretty useless. It seems to kill only 2 percent of the victims and every patient spreads it to just 2.2 people on average, “the op-ed said.
Doctors check the condition of patients on Thursday at Jinyintan Hospital in Wuhan. The hospital is designated for the treatment of critical patients with the COVID-19 virus
Medical staff work Thursday in the negative pressure isolation department at Jinyintan Hospital
China has again reported a sharp increase in the number of people infected with the coronavirus killer, with the death toll now nearly 1,400.
The National Health Commission said yesterday that 121 more deaths were recorded, as well as 5,090 new confirmed cases.
The number of reported cases has risen faster after the heaviest province has changed its method of counting.
There are now nearly 64,000 confirmed cases on mainland China, of which 1,380 have died according to the national authority.
Hubei Province is now recording cases based on a doctor’s diagnosis and before being confirmed by laboratory tests.
The acceleration of the number of cases does not necessarily mean a sudden increase in new infections of the SARS-CoV-2 virus.
Worldwide, the COVID-19 virus has so far killed at least 1,383 people and infected more than 64,460.