Influencer who ate ‘bat soup’ amid coronavirus fears tells of death threats

A social media influencer who filmed herself eating bat soup after the coronavirus outbreak has spoken out about receiving death threats.

Wang Mengyun munched down on a whole bat in a bowl of grey water – despite the creatures being identified as a possible host of the virus.

The clip went viral amid claims it was filmed at a restaurant in Wuhan – the birth city of the deadly virus.

Wuhan, where 11million people live, has been on lockdown since last week.

Now Mengyun claims the film was made three years ago as a way of showing people "the lifestyle of the local people" in Palau, Micronesia.

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In an apology to her followers on China's social media platform, Weibo, she said "Sorry everyone, I shouldn't eat bats."

Mengyun also said she had received death threats since the video went viral, writing: "It’s all because, in 2016, when I was screening a tour program in Palau, a South Pacific island, I ate a soup of local people’s daily food.

“Back in May 2016, I didn’t know what the virus was at that time. When the video was released I only want to introduce the lifestyle of the local people. I don’t know bat will become the host.

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“Although it’s a local fruit bat, I didn’t refer to expert info and fail to clarify the danger before eating the bat … There is not much information about eating wild animals on the internet, so the anger naturally points to (my) 2016 travel program."

Bats are popular in Chinese medicine, believed to cure a range of illnesses like malaria and and coughing.  Its faeces is thought to cure eye ailments.

The disease is little understood and scientists now claim the virus could stem from snakes.

Coronavirus has killed 81 people and infected more than 2,800 globally.

Ma Xiaowei, China's health minister, yesterday said China was entering a "crucial stage" as "it seems like the ability of the virus to spread is getting stronger".

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