Wuhan lab in China which has been suspected for the leak of COVID-19 has been nominated for top science award in China. According to reports, the Chinese Academy of Sciences has nominated the Wuhan Institute of Virology for its 2021 Outstanding Science and Technology Achievement Prize. Shi Zhengli, head of Wuhan Institute of Virology, dubbed as bat woman, also received a special mention from the academy.
According to the Chinese Academy of Sciences, the controversial lab has been nominated for the award for completing "the most comprehensive and systematic identification research on the aetiology of COVID-19". "...the results of the project have laid an important foundation and technology platform for the follow-up research on the origin, epidemiology and pathogenic mechanism of the COVID-19 virus," it reportedly said.
The academy further said that the research done by the Wuhan Institute of Virology helped control the coronavirus pandemic and in developed of vaccines against COVID-19. The lab's head Dr Zhengli has been accused of leading so-called "gain-of-function" (GOF) experiments in which scientists increase the strength of a virus to better study its effects on hosts. Many experts believe the coronavirus leaked from Dr Zhengli's lab.
However, over the speculations and allegations over the leak of virus from the lab, Dr Zhengli denied all the accusations saying, "How on earth can I offer up evidence for something where there is no evidence?"
In Wuhan, where the first cases of the coronavirus emerged in late 2019, at least two labs studied coronaviruses that originate in bats; the Wuhan Institute of Virology and the Wuhan Center for Disease Control and Prevention.