Wuhan Institute of Virology denies patient zero of COVID-19 came from institute

Source:Global Times Published: 2020/2/16 11:07:22

A medical worker checks diagnosis record of a patient with his colleague in Zhongnan Hospital of Wuhan University in Wuhan, central China's Hubei Province, Jan. 24, 2020. Photo:Xinhua


The Wuhan Institute of Virology on Sunday denied rumors claiming that the first person to contract novel coronavirus pneumonia (COVID-19), or patient zero of the COVID-19 came from the institute.

Huang Yanling, who received a master's degree from the institute in 2015, moved to work and live elsewhere after her graduation and has not been back to Wuhan since. She has never been infected by the virus and is in healthy condition, according to a statement the Wuhan Institute of Virology released on its website on Sunday.

The statement came after claims circulated on the internet on Saturday saying Huang was the patient zero of the novel coronavirus.

At a crucial time fighting against the epidemic, this rumor has greatly disrupted the institute's research work, the institute said in the statement.

Wei Hongping, a research fellow at the Wuhan Institute of Virology and mentor of Huang, posted on his WeChat Moments that he recently called Huang and confirmed Huang was in good heath, the National Business Daily reported on Sunday.

Shi Zhengli, a research fellow at the Wuhan Institute of Virology, said on Saturday evening, "I can promise that not a single person was infected at our institute, including graduate students. We have zero infection cases," reported the Beijing News on Sunday.

Another scientist from the institute, Chen Quanjiao, added, "The Wuhan Institute of Virology has no infections, and the patient zero did not come from us," the Beijing News reported.

According to an enrollment list the institute released on November 4, 2011, Huang was recommended by Southwest Jiaotong University to join the institute's masters program in 2012, the Beijing News reported.

Global Times

Newspaper headline: Institute denies virus 'patient zero' rumors

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