x Eve Woman Wellness Readers Lounge Leisure and Travel My Man Bridal Health Relationships Parenting About Us Digital News Videos Opinions Cartoons Education E-Paper Lifestyle & Entertainment Nairobian Entertainment Eve Woman Travelog TV Stations KTN Home KTN News BTV KTN Farmers TV Radio Stations Radio Maisha Spice FM Vybez Radio Enterprise BULK SMS E-Learning Digger Classified The Standard Group Corporate Contact Us Rate Card Vacancies DCX O.M Portal Corporate Email RMS
Login ×

Woman dubbed world's first Covid patient who vanished from Wuhan a year ago still missing

Health - By Mirror | January 18th 2021 at 11:40:27 GMT +0300
Wuhan lab worker Huang (top left) pictured before her disappearance (Image: @BonicMichael /Twitter)

A Chinese scientist who vanished after she was dubbed 'the world's first Covid patient' is still missing despite a year-long manhunt amid fears of a state cover-up.

Huang Yanling was named as Patient Zero in early online reports shared widely throughout China last February, when the magnitude of the deadly virus was first coming to light.

The researcher, who worked at the Wuhan Institute of Virology, is thought to have been the first to contract Covid in autumn 2019, before it was officially acknowledged.

The claims suggested a link between the pandemic and the institute - which houses zoonotic bat diseases - and sparked fears the bug had been accidentally leaked during experiments.

State officials and lab agents were quick to rubbish the reports at the time and remove them from the internet.

They claimed Huang was safe and had simply moved jobs, with a Chinese news agency even claiming to have spoken to her new employer.

Huang's disappearance has sparked calls for an investigation into the Wuhan lab (Image: Wuhan Virology Institute)

But China is yet to produce the scientist physically despite numerous requests from the US State Department to stop hiding information.

  2. 1. So you don't want to take the coronavirus vaccine? Here's what you need to know
  3. 2. The four stages of exercise to help get your fitness back after Covid
  4. 3. 'Is the Covid vaccine safe for people with allergies?'
  5. 4. Why my toddler might be part of a generation actually benefiting from the lockdown

Their reluctance has fuelled the theory she is either dead or being held by the state to cover up the institute’s role in the pandemic, reports the Mail on Sunday.

The country is now under mounting pressure to reveal conclusive evidence of Huang's whereabouts and the true origins of the pandemic.

A post claiming to be from the scientist later appeared on the WeChat messaging service telling colleagues she was alive and claiming the reports were false.

The only picture thought to show missing lab worker Huang Yanling (Image: @BonicMichael /Twitter)

It read: "To my teachers and fellow students, how long to speak. I am Huang Yanling, still alive. If you receive any email [regarding the Covid rumour], please say it’s not true."

But since then Huang appears to have disappeared from social media and there is no longer any mention of her name on the institute's website.

"Beijing continues today to withhold vital information that scientists need to protect the world from this deadly virus and the next one," Secretary of State Mike Pompeo added on Saturday.

China is under mounting pressure to reveal Huang's whereabouts (Image: Wuhan Virology Institute)

Pompeo also revealed new studies from the US intelligence claim that scientists at the Wuhan Institute of Virology fell ill in the autumn of 2019 - earlier than previously believed - with symptoms consistent with Covid.

Meanwhile Donald Trump has vowed to declassify bombshell secret intelligence linking the virus to the science facility in a bid to prove China is to blame.

"This raises questions about the credibility of WIV senior researcher Shi Zhengli's public claim that there was 'zero infection' among WIV's staff and students of SARS-CoV-2 or SARS-related viruses," Pompeo said.

He spoke after a US government official said the most "credible" theory around the origin of coronavirus is that it escaped from the lab in Wuhan.

Huang's former boss at the Institute of Virology in Wuhan claimed she has been in touch (Image: Courtesy)

Trump's senior aide Matthew Pottinger claimed leaders in China are "admitting" there is a chance theories suggesting Covid-19 started in a "wet market" are false.

Pompeo has suggested the virus is a natural one which escaped from the lab by accident rather than a man-made one.

But he called on the World Health Organisation (WHO) to investigate the lab in question just one day after a team from the organisation landed in Wuhan.

The team is set to look into the 'wet market' originally linked to early infections, but there are believed to be no plans to investigate whether the virus accidentally escaped from the lab.

A briefing document from the State Department read: "Accidental infections in labs have caused several previous virus outbreaks in China and elsewhere, including a 2004 SARS outbreak in Beijing that infected nine people, killing one."

Be The First To Comment

Top Stories

Woman left penniless after being tricked out of Sh6 million by online dating lover
Girl Talk - By Mirror

Meghan Markle wears Princess Diana's bracelet for Oprah interview alongside gift from Harry
Entertainment - By Mirror

Five words that could ruin your chances in a job interview
Career Tips - By Mirror

So you don't want to take the coronavirus vaccine? Here's what you need to know
Health - By Mirror

'My husband has been keeping a dirty secret for 30 years and I'm sickened by it'
Readers Lounge - By Mirror

4 ways to break a soul tie
Relationships - By Jennifer Karina

Seven natural alternatives for black hair dye
Hair - By Renee Wesonga

Postpartum psychosis: I thought I would die if I closed my eyes
Readers Lounge - By Chebet Birir

4 ways you can treat a vaginal itch at home
Health - By Wanja Mbuthia

4 ways to break a soul tie
Relationships - By Jennifer Karina

Latest Stories

So you don't want to take the coronavirus vaccine? Here's what you need to know
Health - By Mirror

Fall asleep in just 60 seconds using the 4-7-8 breathing technique
Health - By Mirror

Doctors give wrong antibiotics for UTIs nearly 50% of the time, study finds
Health - By Audrey Masitsa

Twins, 19, become first in world to have gender reassignment surgery together
Health - By Mirror

'Is the Covid vaccine safe for people with allergies?'
Health - By Mirror

10 secret health hacks doctors tell their friends - advice everyone should know
Health - By Mirror

Five ways to prevent migraines
Health - By Audrey Masitsa

Woman shares five-minute sleep trick that she swears 'cured her insomnia'
Health - By Mirror

Three people die in Ebola outbreak after falling ill with vomiting and diarrhoea
Health - By Mirror

Wuhan lab at centre of Covid storm 'designed cages to breed bats for virus experiments'
Health - By Mirror

Stay Ahead!

Access premium content only available
to our subscribers.

Or Login With Your Standard Account
Support independent journalism

Please enter your email address to continue

Support independent journalism
Create An Account
Support independent journalism
I have an account Log in
Reset Password
Support independent journalism
Log in