Let's talk about BSL4 positive pressure suits.

Here is Shi ZhengLi in her Delta (French) suit, manufactured by Sperian Protection (Honeywell).
Also called the 'white' suit.
Basically you have the choice between the White, Blue and Yellow suits.
Practically they all suck in one way or another, and are prone to breaking.

"The Delta (Sperion) suits just don't last long - even with lighter use"

The Delta suit is the suit used at the WIV.
That's where the positive air pressure comes in otherwise it would be really lethal.
"While Delta has made a number of significant improvements [--], their quality control stinks".

Good to know.
absaconference.org/pdf54/SessionX…
Mind you if you go for the Yellow or Blue one, it's not really better.

Then there are the BSL-4 Management 'Complications':

'Divide in experience coupled with larger facilities increasing the size of the BSL-4 work force could lead to more accidents'
So what do you do when your suit falls to pieces?
Well you fix it with glue, tape, sealant and some material.

One company in China does just that:
One downside of the WIV Delta (White) suit is that you cannot test the integrated HEPA filter.

Still it's often the preferred suit. It just does not last long. Better be careful.

Here is another good comparison of the 3 standard suits.
liebertpub.com/doi/pdf/10.117…
Now I want to be clear: this thread is about lab risk management practices, with a good BSL-4 example.

It is NOT about SARS-CoV-2.
I have always been very clear that BatCoV research is done at P2 or P3.

From my probabilistic paper and from my Medium article:
What this shows in terms of lab safety is interesting.

This BSL-4 suit example shows that risk is first and foremost about people and processes.
One can build a top BSL-4 on paper, but the biosafety may anyway fall apart with bad trainings and bad practices.
Case in point: BSL-4 suits get easily damaged.

So one needs to inspect them regularly and just throw them away after a while - they do not last.
👉🏻What is the WIV policy on this?

Also the suit HEPA filter is not easy to inspect.
👉🏻What is the WIV process for their inspection?
And why on earth would a Chinese company be set up to 'fix' these BSL-4 suits, in collaboration with Chinese research institutes?

It's much safer to replace them (and don't forget the HEFA filter too).

researchgate.net/publication/33…
In any case you can buy the White suits for around $300 (Rs 25,000 below via an Indian distributor).

They are cheap because you are supposed to just replace them instead of patching them.
The plastic won't last. And it's not meant to last.

What happens when it starts breaking up? The pressure difference may drop, with possible contamination of the inside

Good luck with that. Do they clean it inside-outside before sending it for repair?

Don't patch - throw away.
If nuclear power stations were run this way (the Chernobyl way) we would be finished.

The problem with lab biosafety is that the human component is very large - too large - with so many ways of messing things up, all duly explored thanks to human nature.
Going back to P2/P3 for coronaviruses, see archived web.archive.org/web/2017102305….

This was from virus.org.cn, which like many other Chinese pages has now been taken offline.

蝙蝠冠状病毒 BSL-2 -> Bat Coronavirus BSL-2
Same with rodent coronavirus 大鼠冠状病毒.

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More from @gdemaneuf

16 Apr
Here is an interesting article worth discussing.

This was published in 2016 in the journal of Military Medical Research, a Springer Nature journal which is edited by the PLA.

[Nature and its pangolins papers, the PLA... Yes, I know!]
mmrjournal.biomedcentral.com/articles/10.11…
The paper is about the positive role the PLA is playing in infectious disease prevention and control.

The 2nd sentence of the paper gives you the theme, praising the contribution of the PLA to the prevention of SARS. Image
Maybe they have in mind keeping secret military files that made it impossible for the WHO to control and monitor the spread of SARS in Beijing in 2004. Image
Read 11 tweets
16 Apr
What could go wrong?

'The ministry has examined and approved the construction of three biosafety level-4 labs [on top of already 3], or P4 labs, and 88 biosafety level-3 labs, or P3 labs, in China'
globaltimes.cn/page/202104/12…
Well, first and foremost, Chinese experts have been very concerned about the lack of qualified biosafety personnel, adequate budgets, and proper regulation for years.

See:
gillesdemaneuf.medium.com/evaluation-of-… ImageImageImage
Yes you read it correctly:

[…] several high-level BSLs have insufficient operational funds for routine yet vital processes. Due to the limited resources, some BSL-3 laboratories run on extremely minimal operational costs or in some cases none at all.
Read 11 tweets
15 Apr
Nice words from @Ayjchan .

One aspect that is missed here is that many of these improvised analysts (i do not like the word sleuths) are actually very qualified in their fields and have top academic backgrounds.
That's why they succeeded. Make no mistake.
What will eventually dawn on people is how masterful the setup of DRASTIC was.

It's an informal organisation that is very open, very resilient and flexible by design.

It allows for a mix of styles, from the rebellious taunt to the peer reviewed article. Image
DRASTIC people worked the coal mine, jumped into the mudbath.

But they were also able to interface with top media (Washington Post, WSJ, Spectator, Le Monde, etc) without forgetting the more mainstream ones (TVs, Daily Mail, Sun, etc). Image
Read 6 tweets
10 Apr
The SCMP makes for some very interesting reading this morning.
I cannot fail to recall that Beijing is forcing Jack Ma to sell the SCMP and more of his media assets.

bloomberg.com/news/articles/…
These are the best pieces:
Read 12 tweets
9 Apr
A courageous article by @ParkSuAm1996 in the HK South China Morning Post.

Well done Eduardo and the SCMP, the questions of transparency and willingness to oppenly learn from mistakes are essential.

archive.is/ECbSC
It is also very nice to see Tony Della Porta, one of the foremost experts on lab safety, stepping in.

His work on the 2003 Singapore and Taiwan SARS lab leaks set the standard.

Unfortunately he was not selected for the bad Beijing SARS leak in 2004.

researchgate.net/publication/34…
We cannot keep going back to the same transparency failures.

This is really starting to feel like a Truman Show.

We need to escape that silly staged world which is totally uncompatible with a country running many (and building many more) labs.
Read 6 tweets
8 Apr
@China__Focus Sorry @China_Focus, but you have been caught lying.

The 700 tests ILI samples from the Wuhan Xiehe Hospital - not from the WIV (which anyway has 590 staff and students).

#DASTIC @franciscodeasis @Tantalite
From Annex D7 of the China-WHO study report:
@China__Focus @china_focus @franciscodeasis @Tantalite The WIV did test some lab staff in April 2019 and March 2020.

It should have tested all 590 staff and students, plus construction workers.

Given that the prevalent IgG+ rate in Wuhan was about 4.4% at the time then there would have been positive tests.
@China__Focus @china_focus @franciscodeasis @Tantalite First let's be clear that the prevalent IgG+ rate was around 4.4% in urban Wuhan around April 2020
(95% confidence interval: 4.0%-4.8%).

See jamanetwork.com/journals/jaman…
Read 11 tweets

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