World Coronavirus Dispatch: Few reports add weight to Wuhan lab leak theory

Intelligence on sick staff at Wuhan lab fuels debate on virus origin

Three researchers from China’s Wuhan Institute of Virology fell ill with symptoms consistent with both coronavirus and common seasonal illness and sought hospital care in November 2019, Wall Street Journal reported citing undisclosed US intelligence report. Beijing reported its first confirmed case in December 2019. This report has once again thrown spotlight on the origins of the virus and added weight to the argument that that virus may escaped from the Wuhan lab. China has repeatedly denied that the virus escaped from one of its labs. World Health Organization’s decision-making body is expected to discuss the next phase of an investigation into Covid-19’s origins soon.

Let's look at the global statistics

Global infections: 167,322,795

Global deaths: 3,473,574

Nations with most cases: US (33,143,742), India (26,948,874), Brazil (16,120,756), France (5,667,331), Turkey (5,194,010).


The Wuhan lab leak question: A disused Chinese mine takes center stage

Another report in the Wall Street Journal talks about a Chinese mine disguised deep in a forest in Southwest China that has become centre stage in the debate about virus leak theory from a Wuhan lab. In April 2012, six miners here fell sick with a mysterious illness after entering the mine to clear bat guano. Three of them died. Chinese scientists from the Wuhan Institute of Virology were called in to investigate and, after taking samples from bats in the mine, identified several new coronaviruses. Now, unanswered questions about the miners’ illness, the viruses found at the site and the research done with them.

Singapore maintains 2021 GDP outlook despite virus setback

Singapore has maintained its economic growth forecast for this year, looking past the impact of restrictions imposed to stem an uptick in Covid-19 cases while flagging that the global course of the pandemic remains a key risk. Gross domestic product will rebound four per cent to six per cent in 2021, reiterating its previous forecast and citing improved performances by large economies such as the US The city-state’s GDP also grew in the first quarter more than previously estimated.

Biden and Fauci field questions on vaccine hesitancy from YouTube influencers

By promoting free Uber rides to vaccination sites and new features for vaccinated dating app users, the Biden administration is trying aggressively to entice young tech guys to get shots in their arms. In its latest drive, the White House unveiled its strategy to reach young adults, by turning President Biden and Dr Anthony Fauci over to several young YouTube influencers.

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