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New virus With Pandemic Potential Found In China Even As Covid-19 Reigns Worldwide

Even as the novel Coronavirus has infected 10,409,239 people worldwide, on Tuesday, a new strain of flu has been identified in China by scientists, reports say.

China

Even as Coronavirus cases are on a rise worldwide, on Tuesday, a new strain of flu has been identified in China by scientists, as per reports. Scientists say that the virus is carried by pigs, but can infect humans and has the potential to become a pandemic. The new flu strain is similar to the 2009 swine flu, but with some new changes. Called as G4 EA H1N1, scientists say that the available flu vaccine might not be able to provide immunity from the virus. Writing in the journal Proceedings of the National Academy of Sciences, scientists opined that measures should be taken to control the virus swine industry must be monitored. 

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Coronavirus outbreak

China has been facing worldwide criticism after the outbreak of the novel Coronavirus which has so far claimed 508,084 lives and 10,409,239 people have been infected. It is under the scanner for hiding the outbreak of COVID-19, with some reports suggesting that infection related to the virus may have started as early as in August in China.

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Another report by US media suggested that the COVID-19 virus might have leaked from lab in Wuhan. It claimed that the initial transmission of the virus was bat-to-human and the "patient zero" worked at the laboratory where it was being studied - the Wuhan Institute of Virology. The United States has also called for an investigation on the outbreak of the virus and has pulled out their funding from the World Health Organisation (WHO) for siding with China. 

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China delayed releasing the info on COVID-19

Even as the World Health Organization throughout January, publicly praised China for what it called a speedy response to the new coronavirus, news agency AP reported that China significantly delayed the release of information about the virus.

China sat on releasing the genetic map, or genome, of the virus for more than a week after three different government labs had fully decoded the information. Tight controls on information and competition within the Chinese public health system were to blame, according to dozens of interviews and internal documents, as per AP report. Chinese government labs only released the genome after another lab published it ahead of authorities on a virologist website on January 11. Even then, China stalled for at least two weeks more on providing WHO with detailed data on patients and cases.

However, siding with the Chinese, WHO had said thanked the Xi Jinping government for sharing the genetic map of the virus “immediately,” and said its work and commitment to transparency were “very impressive, and beyond words.” 123 nations, however, have forced China to concede and allow a probe into Covid's origin.

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