As the third wave of the Covid pandemic is wreaking havoc in several countries, a research team at Wuhan had claimed to have discovered a virus named NeoCov among bats in South Africa. The research team also noted that this new virus will be highly transmissible and deadly. According to the research team, NeoCov possesses the spreading capability of Covid, and the lethality of Middle East Respiratory Syndrome (MERS).
WHO talks about NeoCov
The news of NeoCov's discovery soon spread like wildfire and several people started claiming that humanity is going to face another pandemic in the near future. Interestingly, the research team had noted that a single mutation of the virus will allow it to infect humans.
And now, the World Health Organization (WHO) has said that further studies are required to determine whether NeoCov will infect humans, Russia's TASS news agency reported.
The report in TASS news agency also noted that WHO is working closely with other agencies like the World Organization for Animal Health to analyze the risk of emerging zoonotic virus.
Indian experts talk about NeoCov
Meanwhile, health experts in India have ruled out the possibility of NeoCov infecting humans. Dr Jayprakash Muliyil, chairperson of the National Institute of Epidemiology's Scientific Advisory Committee told The Indian Express that the chances of NeoCov infecting humans are unlikely.
"The chances of it jumping I would say is 0.001, which statistically means unlikely. We live with so many pathogens; there is no need to worry about it. It is good for those who want to scare people." said Muliyil.
Dr Shashank Joshi, a member of Maharashtra's COVID-19 task force asserted that NeoCov is not capable to infect humans.
"NeoCov is an old virus closely related to MERS Cov which enter cells via DPP4 receptors. What's new? NeoCov can use ace2 receptors of bats but they can't use human ace2 receptor unless a new mutation occurs. Everything else is hype," tweeted Joshi.