A Chinese doctor reportedly injected an untested vaccine on herself meant to prevent the novel coronavirus which has claimed more than 3,000 lives globally. Chinese military’s top epidemiologist and virologist Chen Wei skipped a few steps, which include testing on animals, and injected the vaccine. The 54-year-old major-general in China's People's Liberation Army (PLA) posed for the photographer in full protective gear and pumped the liquid into her body. The photographs posted on PLA’s social media account on Weibo was taken down after international backlash.
According to media reports, six other members of the team have also injected the untested vaccine. Chen, who was instrumental in helping combat the SARS outbreak, wanted to show that China was working swiftly to develop coronavirus vaccine. Speaking to China's state-run TV network, Chen said that they were doing all they can to put the recombinant vaccine into clinical application. She added that they must strive to bring the vaccine we are working on to clinical trial and application, providing strong technical support for winning this battle.
According to the latest report, 31 new deaths in China due to coronavirus infections have been confirmed, taking the total death toll because of the deadly virus to over 3,000. While most of the cases are from Hubei province of China and the city of Wuhan, the epicentre of the outbreak, other countries, including the United States, Iran, Italy, and Japan, have also now reported deaths related to COVID-19.
The World Health Organisation (WHO) has confirmed more than 1,700 new cases of the deadly coronavirus (COVID-19) outside mainland China while the total number of infected people have exceeded 10,000. The WHO said in its coronavirus disease situation report that the total number of confirmed cases outside China had increased by 1,792 to 10,566 in 72 countries.
Dr Maria Van Kerkhove, technical lead, WHO Health Emergencies Programme, said that they have identified the virus, have the genetic sequence, PCR and serological assay in use. She added that this “wealth of knowledge” is unprecedented for a new disease.
(With agency inputs)