China continues with its Zero-Covid policy

Public health observers are confident that China’s “zero tolerance” COVID-19 policy will safeguard the country to withstand epidemic flare-ups, although the outbreak in East China’s Fujian Province is still intense and Northeast China’s Heilongjiang Province reported three fresh cases on Tuesday during the national holidays to mark the Mid-Autumn Festival. report

China also shut an entire city down today after ONE case of Covid-19 was found:

“Chinese officials shut down the northern city of Harbin after a single patient was hospitalized with Covid-19, adding a second flank to the country’s ongoing delta outbreak during the Mid-Autumn Festival and public holidays.”

Bloomberg report


Denmark’s SSI recommends changes to syringe injection method for #coronavirus vaccines

Preprint: Coronaviruses with a SARS-CoV-2-like RBD isolated from bats of the Indochinese peninsula

“We found that the RBDs of these viruses differ from that of SARS-CoV-2 by only one or two residues”

Here we show that such viruses indeed circulate in cave bats living in the limestone karstic terrain in North Laos, within the Indochinese peninsula. We found that the RBDs of these viruses differ from that of SARS-CoV-2 by only one or two residues, bind as efficiently to the hACE2 protein as the SARS-CoV-2 Wuhan strain isolated in early human cases, and mediate hACE2-dependent entry into human cells, which is inhibited by antibodies neutralizing SARS-CoV-2.

None of these bat viruses harbors a furin cleavage site in the spike. Our findings therefore indicate that bat-borne SARS-CoV-2-like viruses potentially infectious for humans circulate in Rhinolophus spp. in the Indochinese peninsula.

ResearchSquare preprint:  Coronaviruses with a SARS-CoV-2-like receptor-binding domain allowing ACE2-mediated entry into human cells isolated from bats of Indochinese peninsula


China: man tests positive after 3 weeks in quarantine and 9 negative Covid tests

A man who completed 21 days of mandatory quarantine upon returning to China from overseas has been identified as the likely source of a new Covid outbreak.  The man underwent 14 days of compulsory hotel quarantine, another 7 days in centralized quarantine and then a further week of health monitoring. He had tested negative for the virus nine times during 21 days of quarantine, before testing positive 37 days after entering China.

Putian’s locally-transmitted epidemic mainly has two chains of transmission – the one relating to Putou Primary School and one relating to Xiesheng shoe-making factory. The total infections from the school increased to at least 15 and at least 10 other infections from the Xiesheng shoe-making factory as of press time.

Preliminary studies suggest the outbreak may be traced to father of a student at the school who recently returned to Putian from Singapore. The person surnamed Lin tested positive on September 10, 38 days after returning from Singapore on August 4, during which he took nine nucleic acid and serologic tests, which were all negative. report





Photo by Nuno Alberto on Unsplash

Long Covid: 49% of patients still have at least one symptom after 12 months

1276 COVID-19 survivors were studied. The proportion of patients with at least one sequelae symptom decreased from 68% at 6 months to 49% at 12 months. The proportion of patients with dyspnoea slightly increased from 26% at 6-month visit to 30% at 12-month visit. Additionally, more patients had anxiety or depression at 12-month visit.  Matched COVID-19 survivors at 12 months had more problems with mobility, pain or discomfort, and anxiety or depression, and had more prevalent symptoms than did controls.

Lancet article: 1-year outcomes in hospital survivors with COVID-19: a longitudinal cohort study



Image by LIMAT MD ARIF from Pixabay

Preprint: Molecular evidence for SARS-CoV-2 in samples collected since late summer 2019 in Lombardy

435 samples from 156 cases were investigated.  RNA isolated from oropharyngeal swabs and urine was screened by hemi-nested PCRs targeting key sites for viral typing. Molecular evidence for SARS-CoV-2 infection was found in 13 subjects. Two patients were from the pandemic period (2/12, 16·7%, March 2020-March 2021) and 11 were from the pre-pandemic period (11/44, 25%, August 2019-February 2020).

Five of the positive individuals showed the simultaneous presence of anti-SARS-CoV-2 antibodies. No clear evidence of infection was found in 281 samples collected between August 2018 and July 2019 from 100 patients. The first positivity for SARS-CoV-2 RNA was found in a sample collected on September 12, 2019. Mutations typical of B.1 (PANGOLIN classification) strains, previously reported to have emerged in January 2020, had already been circulating in October 2019. Hence, we estimate SARS-CoV-2 progenitor of known human infections to have emerged in late June-late August 2019.

Preprint: Molecular Evidence for SARS-CoV-2 in Samples Collected From Patients With Morbilliform Eruptions Since Late Summer 2019 in Lombardy, Northern Italy



Italy: WHO retests patient samples from September 2019 that tested positive for SARS-CoV-2 RBD-specific antibodies



Image by Tommy_Rau from Pixabay

Shi Zhengli: We need to learn to live with the virus

Shi Zhengli, China’s ‘Bat Woman’, has said that new variants of Sars-Cov-2 will continue to emerge, but that vaccines are ‘effective’.  “We shouldn’t panic, but we need to prepare to co-exist with the virus in the long term,” Shi told media on Wednesday. report



China: Sars-CoV-2 returns to Wuhan

Authorities in the Chinese city of Wuhan will begin testing its entire population, after a handful of positive coronavirus cases were detected there.  Wuhan has recorded seven locally transmitted cases – the first local infections in more than a year. report


Authorities in Wuhan on Tuesday said they would test its entire population for Covid-19 after the central Chinese city where the coronavirus emerged reported its first local infections in more than a year.  Authorities announced on Monday that seven locally transmitted infections had been found among migrant workers in the city, breaking a year-long streak without domestic cases after it squashed an initial outbreak with an unprecedented lockdown in early 2020.




Image by c f from Pixabay

Hong Kong: all passenger flights from UK banned to curb #coronavirus – Britain deemed “extremely high-risk”

Hong Kong will ban all passenger flights from the United Kingdom from Thursday (Jul 1) to curb the spread of the Delta variant of COVID-19, the government said on Monday. Britain will be specified as extremely high-risk, and people who have stayed in the country for more than two hours will be unable to board passenger flights bound for Hong Kong, it said.

It is the second time Hong Kong has barred arrivals from Britain after a ban that was in force from December 2020 until May.

The government said the ban was due to “the recent rebound of the epidemic situation in the UK and the widespread Delta variant virus strain there, coupled with a number of cases with L452R mutant virus strains detected by tests from people arriving from the UK”.

ChannelNewsAsia report




Preprint: Recovery of deleted deep sequencing data sheds more light on the early Wuhan SARS-CoV-2 epidemic #coronavirus

“Here I identify a data set containing SARS-CoV-2 sequences from early in the Wuhan epidemic that has been deleted from the NIH’s Sequence Read Archive. I recover the deleted files from the Google Cloud, and reconstruct partial sequences of 13 early epidemic viruses. Phylogenetic analysis of these sequences in the context of carefully annotated existing data suggests that the Huanan Seafood Market sequences that are the focus of the joint WHO-China report are not fully representative of the viruses in Wuhan early in the epidemic. Instead, the progenitor of known SARS-CoV-2 sequences likely contained three mutations relative to the market viruses that made it more similar to SARS-CoV-2’s bat coronavirus relatives.”

BiorXiv preprint



Image by Clker-Free-Vector-Images from Pixabay

China: 10-12% of Guangzhou #coronavirus patients are critically ill – far higher than Wuhan outbreak

Some 10-12 percent of the COVID-19 patients in the latest COVID-19 outbreak in Guangzhou are critically ill, Guan Xiangdong, a specialist in the Guangdong COVID-19 medical team, told media on Thursday. The proportion is higher than in the epidemic in Wuhan, and the following 20 regional clusters that took place across China, in which the proportion was usually 2-3 percent, 5-8 percent or “8-10 percent in a few areas,” Guan said to China Central Television (CCTV) on Thursday.

The relatively high proportion of severe and critically ill cases was probably caused by the highly pathogenic viral strains that spread in this wave of the epidemic in Guangzhou, Guan said.

Global Times report


China: 2,468 #coronavirus cases, 75 hospitalised in Guangdong after Delta B16172 variant outbreak



Image by Philippsaal from Pixabay

China: Thousands of wild animals for sale in Wuhan wet markets prior to the #coronavirus pandemic

Horrendous new report: “Here we document 47,381 individuals from 38 species, including 31 protected species sold between May 2017 and November 2019 in Wuhan’s markets. The wild animals on sale in Wuhan suffered poor welfare and hygiene conditions and we detail a range of other zoonotic infections they can potentially vector” article


China: Zhengli/Daszak/Ecohealth – “Serological Evidence of Bat SARS-Related #Coronavirus Infection in Humans, China” 2018


Image by klimkin from Pixabay

China: Zhengli/Daszak/Ecohealth – “Serological Evidence of Bat SARS-Related #Coronavirus Infection in Humans, China” 2018

Peter Daszak/Zheng-Li Shi/Ecohealth: “In this study, we performed serological surveillance on people who live in close proximity to caves where bats that carry diverse SARSr-CoVs roost. In October 2015, we collected serum samples from 218 residents in four villages in Jinning County, Yunnan province, China, located 1.1–6.0 km from two caves (Yanzi and Shitou). We conducted a virus neutralization test for the six positive samples targeting two SARSr-CoVs, WIV1 and WIV16. None of them were able to neutralize either virus. These sera also failed to react by Western blot with any of the recombinant RBD proteins from SARS-CoV or the three bat SARSr-CoVs Rp3, WIV1, and SHC014.”

Ning Wang, Shi-Yue Li, Xing-Lou Yang, Hui-Min Huang, Yu-Ji Zhang, Hua Guo, Chu-Ming Luo, Maureen Miller, Guangjian Zhu, Aleksei A. Chmura, Emily Hagan, Ji-Hua Zhou, Yun-Zhi Zhang, Lin-Fa Wang, Peter Daszak, Zheng-Li Shi



Image by 波 胡 from Pixabay

China: Zhengli & Daszak – Human-animal interactions and bat #coronavirus spillover potential among rural residents in Southern China

Zhengli & Daszak study, September 2019 –  “We conducted a cross-sectional study in the districts of Yunnan, Guangxi, and Guangdong, China…  Serological testing of serum samples from 1,497 local residents revealed that 9 individuals (0.6%) in four study sites were positive for bat coronaviruses, indicating exposure at some point in their life to bat-borne SARSr-CoVs (n=7, Yunnan), HKU10-CoV (n=2, Guangxi), or other coronaviruses that are phylogenetically closely related to these.

Zhengli Shi, Peter Daszak, Hongying Li, Emma Mendelsohn, Chen Zong, Wei Zhang, Emily Hagan, Ning Wang, Shiyue Li, Hong Yan, Huimin Huang, Guangjian Zhu, Noam Ross, Aleksei Chmura, Philip Terry, Mark Fielder, Maureen Miller Human-animal interactions and bat coronavirus spillover potential among rural residents in Southern China

China: Zhengli/Daszak/Ecohealth – “Serological Evidence of Bat SARS-Related #Coronavirus Infection in Humans, China” 2018


India: Shi Zhengli, October 2019 – Filovirus antibodies in humans and bats imply zoonotic spillover


Russia: WIV “did absolutely insane things in my opinion, for example, insertions into the genome”

Image by 4537668 from Pixabay

Russia: WIV “did absolutely insane things in my opinion, for example, insertions into the genome”

“In China, scientists at the Wuhan Laboratory have been actively developing various variants of the coronavirus for more than 10 years. And they did this, supposedly not with the aim of creating disease-causing variants, but to study their pathogenicity. They did absolutely insane things, in my opinion, for example, insertions into the genome, which gave the virus the ability to infect human cells.”

В Китае ученые Уханьской лаборатории на протяжении более 10 лет активно занимались разработкой различных вариантов коронавируса. Причем они это делали, якобы не с целью создания болезнетворных вариантов, а для изучения их патогенности. Они делали совершенно безумные, на мой взгляд, вещи: к примеру, вставки в геном, которые придавали вирусу способность заражать клетки человека. Сейчас это все было проанализировано. Картина возможного создания нынешнего коронавируса потихоньку вырисовывается.

From an interview with Petr Chumakov, Professor, Corresponding Member of the Russian Academy of Sciences, Engelhardt Institute of Molecular Biology.

Interview With Professor Petr Chumakov in Moskovsky Komsomolets (in Russian)


China: Zhengli & Daszak – Human-animal interactions and bat #coronavirus spillover potential among rural residents in Southern China


India: Shi Zhengli, October 2019 – Filovirus antibodies in humans and bats imply zoonotic spillover


Image by Михаил Иванович Лукин, пресс-служба РАН, CC BY 4.0, Link