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Tag: China

Covid-19 Patient Zero Info Revealed

A chief in the World Health Organization has allegedly admitted that the world’s first COVID-19 patient may have been infected after being bitten by a bat while working for a Wuhan laboratory in China.

Dr. Peter Embarek, who had initially dismissed the notion that the virus escaped from a lab as unlikely, now admitted that this is a very real possibility.  The shocking admission caused outcries around the world.
The coronavirus has destroyed lives and wrecked economies since it first came to light in 2019. Millions have died and new variants continue to emerge as wave after wave kills more people every day.

Dr Embarek led the World Health Organization probe into the origins of the coronavirus pandemic in China. He reportedly suggests that a Chinese researcher could have been infected by a bat while taking samples in connection with research at a Wuhan lab.

By Thursday evening, the total global number of laboratory-confirmed COVID-19 cases exceeded 204.7 million globally, according to Johns Hopkins University in the United States of America. The number of confirmed deaths stands at more than 4.32 million. Over 4.54 billion vaccination doses have been administered globally, according to Our World in Data.

 

China ready, willing to provide much-needed Covid-19 vaccines to SA

China is ready and willing to provide much-needed Covid-19 vaccines to South Africa, as long as local legal frameworks and requirements are met, Chinese Ambassador Chen Xiaodong has said.

The Chinese top diplomat made the remarks during a virtual seminar hosted by international asset management company Ninety One on Wednesday.

“China will continue to provide PPEs (personal protective equipment) to the South African side and share response experience. Vaccines are the most crucial resources in fighting against Covid-19,” said Chen.

“China attaches great importance to South Africa’s demand and is willing to fulfill the commitment to make Covid-19 vaccines global public goods. We will give priority to supplying Chinese vaccines to the South African side.”

“We are ready to provide vaccines to the South African side as long as there is a need and an approval by the regulatory authorities here, so as to benefit the South African people at an early date,” he added.

Several African countries in Africa including Zimbabwe and Nambia have received Chinese vaccines.

Pressure is mounting on the South African government to widen its vaccination campaign. So far, fewer than 200,000 people have been vaccinated against Covid-19. A follow-up batch of 66,000 Johnson & Johnson vaccines arrived in the country this month to boost the government’s Sisonke vaccine trial programme.

The national health department says its reserves of one million doses of the Indian AstraZeneca vaccine have been sold because of its low effectiveness against the South African variant of Covid-19 which emerged late last year.

The Chinese envoy said Beijing would continue to work towards strengthening the exchange of experience and eradicating poverty in South Africa.

“In particular, we are ready to help formulate targeted poverty alleviation strategies and ensure that resources are effectively used for poverty alleviation individuals and areas,” he said.

“China is also willing to take stronger actions to support South Africa in overcoming Covid-19 and other difficulties, so as to better deliver post-Covid economic recovery and sustainable development.”

China has been South Africa’s largest trading partner for 12 years in a row, and South Africa has been the Asian economic giant’s largest trading partner in Africa for 11 consecutive years.

Bilateral trade between the two countries now accounts for nearly one-fifth of the total trade between China and Africa. Despite disruptions caused by the Covid-19 pandemic, statistics from the Chinese Embassy in Pretoria show that total trade between the two countries stood at US$35.84 billion in 2020.

Chinese enterprises including Hisense, Huawei, FAW, BAIC, Longyuan Power, ICBC and others, have reportedly invested and financed more than US$25 billion in South Africa, creating 400,000 jobs.

China Does not Acknowledge Biden Victory

China, on Monday, declined to congratulate US President Elect Joe Biden as the winner of the 2020 US presidential election.  China said the outcome of the vote was still to be determined.  While incumbent Donald Trump has yet to concede and he has launched several legal challenges disputing the results of the election.  Meanwhile, many world leaders congratulated Biden and running mate Kamala Harris after the Democrats were declared winners at the weekend.  Spontaneous celebrations erupted across the US when all major US Networks declared Biden the winner.

Donald Trump’s term in the White House was marked by a costly trade war and increasingly unstable relations with China.  The US and China have been locking heads on a range of issues.  The US blamed China for the rapid and uncontrolled spread of the coronavirus and the two powers have been sparring over Beijing’s human rights record in Xinjiang and Hong Kong.

A handful of other major countries have also failed to congratulate the President-Elect saying that they took note of Biden declaring himself the winner.  “Our understanding is that the outcome of the election will be determined in accordance with US laws and procedures,” said foreign ministry spokesperson Wang Wenbin at a regular briefing. After declining to acknowledge Biden’s victory despite repeated questions from reporters, Wang said: “We hope the new US government can meet China halfway.”

 

Daily Coronavirus Update and Statistics

Europe is experiencing a second wave of Covid-19 forcing many European countries to go into lockdown again. Scientists in South Africa called on South Africans to learn from the mistakes made by other countries and continue to observe regulations pertaining to social distancing and hygiene. “South Africans cannot become complacent and lazy. If that happens, we will face another wave of the Coronavirus which could see the country going into lockdown again. Especially with the festive season approacing, South Africans have to adhere to established protocol,” said one scientist.

It is close to a year since the coronavirus outbreak started in Wuhan, China. Since the outbreak scientists across the globe have pleaded with people to steer clear of social gatherings, to work from home, and to wear a mask when they do venture outside. South Africans see the festive season as an opportunity for year-end functions, family braai’s, and packed beaches.

The chairperson of the Ministerial Advisory Committee on Covid-19, Professor Abdool Karim, however said that now was not the time to forget that we were in the grip of a global pandemic. “People are tired, they’re frustrated, they’re irritated and they just want it to end. We control our risks and we control our country’s risk. If we are just a bit more careful… we just need to hang in there.”

Professor Shabir Madhi of Wits Vaccinology said that South Africa was already experiencing a resurgence in cases. “When you go around South Africa right now, people have become more complacent in terms of the use of the face maks, in terms of the physical distancing, in terms of avoiding overcrowded places. Complacency has crept in.” It is this complacency and super spreader events that have been the key drivers in the second wave gripping Europe and the United States.

International News: China Lab Leak Infects Thousands With Bacterial Disease

Thousands of people in northwest China have tested positive for a bacterial disease after a leak from a state-owned biopharmaceutical plant making animal vaccines last year.

Health officials in Lanzhou city said 3,245 people had contracted brucellosis, a disease often caused by close contact with infected animals or animal products that can bring about fevers, joint pain, and headaches.

Another 1,401 people tested as an early positive for the disease, and health authorities said there was no evidence of person-to-person transmission so far.

Chinese authorities found a biopharmaceutical plant had used expired disinfectant in its production of Brucella vaccines for animals between July and August last year -meaning the bacteria was not eradicated in its factory exhaust.

Contaminated gas from the China Animal Husbandry Lanzhou Biopharmaceutical Factory in Lanzhou formed aerosols containing the bacteria, and this was then carried by wind to the Lanzhou Veterinary Research Institute, infecting nearly 200 people there as of December last year.

More than 20 students and faculty members of Lanzhou University, some of whom had been to the institute, subsequently tested positive as well, according to Xinhua news agency.

Lanzhou’s health commission said Friday that sheep, cattle, and pigs were most commonly involved in the spread of the bacteria.

According to the US Centers for Disease Control and Prevention, person-to-person transmission of brucellosis is “extremely rare” but some symptoms may reoccur or never go away.

AFP

International News: Officials in China hid the threat of the coronavirus.

Intelligence collected by US agencies found that local officials in China hid the threat of the coronavirus from government leaders for weeks, The New York Times reported Wednesday.

 The internal report, according to US officials who spoke to The Times, revealed that local officials in Wuhan, China, where the coronavirus originated, withheld information on the coronavirus from Beijing officials, possibly out of fear of retribution.

The US intel, which was circulated in June, does not absolve China’s fault in the global spread of the virus, current and former administration officials told The Times.

Chinese officials spent the initial weeks of the coronavirus outbreaks by silencing doctors who attempted to sound the alarm on the virus.

 One doctor in Wuhan, Dr. Li Wenliang, posted online about being quarantined at the onset of the coronavirus outbreak in the city, and three days later, Chinese authorities forced the doctor to sign a document denouncing his initial warnings as “illegal behavior.” Li died from the coronavirus in February.

Read the full article from the New York Times

https://www.nytimes.com/2020/08/19/world/asia/china-coronavirus-beijing-trump.html

 

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