Beijing, July 2 (IANS) The Chinese mainland on Thursday reported 18 imported Covid-19 cases but no new locally transmitted cases, the National Health Commission said in its daily report on Friday.Among the imported cases, eight were reported in Guangdong, five in Fujian, three in Shanghai, one in Liaoning and one in Jiangsu, Xinhua reported.No new deaths related to Covid-19 were reported on Thursday, said the commission. --IANSint/pgh
Washington, June 24 (IANS) The US National Institutes of Health has deleted gene sequences of early Covid-19 cases from a key scientific database at the request of Chinese researchers, claimed a Seattle-based virologist.Jesse Bloom, a virologist at the Fred Hutchinson Cancer Research Center in Seattle, described the removal of the sequencing data in a new paper posted online on bioRxiv on Tuesday. The paper, which hasn't been peer reviewed, flags concerns that lack of the key gene sequences may dent the current probe into the origin of the pandemic by scientists.The paper claims that Chinese researchers took virus samples from some of the earliest Covid patients in Wuhan in January and February of 2020, then posted the viral sequences to a widely used US database. After three months the genetic information was removed to "obscure their existence", an editorial in the journal Science reported on Wednesday."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," Bloom posted on bioRxiv."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," Bloom wrote.Meanwhile the US NIH has confirmed that it deleted the sequences after receiving a request from a Chinese researcher who had submitted them three months earlier, the Wall Street Journal reported on Wednesday."Submitting investigators hold the rights to their data and can request withdrawal of the data," the NIH said in a statement.The scientist "indicated the sequence information had been updated, was being submitted to another database, and wanted the data removed from SRA to avoid version control issues," NIH said.Bloom said he started his research into the origins of the pandemic, after a team led by the World Health Organization submitted its report early in March this year. It was heavily criticised by many scientists who deemed it "extremely unlikely" that SARS-CoV-2 escaped from a laboratory.ABloom's search led him to a study which listed all SARS-CoV-2 sequences submitted before March 31, 2020, to the Sequence Read Archive (SRA) -- a database overseen by the National Center for Biotechnology Information, a division of NIH. But when he checked SRA for one of the listed projects, he couldn't find its sequences, the Science report said.Further research led him to another study by Ming Wang from Wuhan University's Renmin Hospital, China, which was published in a journal Small. While the paper lists some of the earliest Wuhan Covid patients and the specific mutations in their viruses, it doesn't give the full sequence data.Additional internet sleuthing led Bloom to discover that SRA backs up its information in Google's Cloud platform, and a search there turned up files containing some of Wang's team earlier data submissions.The paper in Small makes no mention of any corrections to viral sequences which might explain why they were removed from SRA, which led Bloom to conclude in his preprint that "the trusting structures of science have been abused to obscure sequences relevant to the early spread of SARS-CoV-2 in Wuhan", the report said.--IANSrvt/sdr/
Dhaka, June 20 (IANS) Bangladesh has resumed the Covid-19 inoculation drive in parts of the country using the Chinese Sinopharm vaccines.Those who already registered but have not received their first shots will get priority for vaccination, which resumed on Saturday in 67 centres across the country, a notice issued by the country's health directorate said.Bangladesh suspended administering the first dose of the vaccine on April 26 after India halted export due to a supply crunch, reports Xinhua news agency. Subsequently, the country's drug regulator authorised emergency use of China's Sinopharm vaccines.The second batch of Sinopharm vaccines arrived in Bangladesh last week.A total of 10,079,676 vaccine doses have been administered in Bangladesh till date.--IANSksk/
Beijing, June 13 (IANS) China's Guangdong province reported six locally transmitted Covid-19 cases on Saturday, all in the capital Guangzhou, health authorities said on Sunday.The province on Saturday also reported seven imported confirmed cases, reports Xinhua news agency.By Saturday, Guangdong had reported a total of 2,618 confirmed Covid-19 cases, including 1,072 imported ones. Currently, 191 patients are being treated in hospitals, said the authorities. The latest Covid resurgence in the southern manufacturing heartland of Guangdong started in May, with most cases reported in cities of Guangzhou, Shenzhen and Foshan.Since the pandemic originated in Wuhan city of Hubei province in December 2019, China has so far reported 91,394 confirmed coronavirus cases and 4,636 deaths.--IANSksk/
Beijing, June 11 (IANS) The Chinese mainland on Thursday reported nine new locally transmitted Covid-19 cases, all in Guangdong Province, the National Health Commission said in its daily report on Friday.The same day also saw 13 new imported cases on the mainland. Of them, three were reported in Fujian, two in Shanghai, two in Guangdong, two in Sichuan and one each in Beijing, Jiangsu, Zhejiang and Yunnan, Xinhua reported.Nine new suspected cases arriving from outside the mainland were reported in Shanghai. No new deaths related to the disease were reported, said the commission. --IANSint/pgh
Beijing, June 10 (IANS) The Chinese mainland on Wednesday reported six new locally transmitted Covid-19 cases, all in Guangdong Province, the National Health Commission said in its daily report on Thursday.The same day also saw 15 new imported cases on the mainland. Of them, seven were reported in Shanghai, three in Guangdong, two in Shaanxi, and one each in Zhejiang, Sichuan and Yunnan, Xinhua news agency reported.No new suspected cases or new deaths related to the disease were reported, said the commission. --IANSint/pgh
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