Although it has so far only been known to spread among these animals, this variant has shown the ability to enter human cells in a manner similar to the SARS-CoV-2 virus.
“Currently, there is no direct evidence that NeoCov affects the human body, and we should not panic or stress,” said Dr Rahul Pandit, Member of the National Covid-19 Task Force and Maharashtra.
“There are many viruses in the world that are still undiscovered and whose characteristics are unknown. We are going through a challenging time and should focus on managing the ongoing Covid-19 pandemic. I advise everyone not to panic, stay vigilant and follow proper Covid-19 protocols,” added Pandit, who is also the Director of Critical Care, Fortis Hospital Mumbai.
According to the NeoCov study, published in pre-print and not yet peer-reviewed, this variant carries a combination of the coronavirus that causes Middle East Respiratory Syndrome (MERS)-CoV that has a mortality rate (one in three people). one person dies) and currently High transmission rate of coronavirus SARS-CoV-2.
“There is only one more mutation left that could become dangerous for humans,” the researchers said.
However, Dr Dhiren Gupta from Sir Ganga Ram Hospital, New Delhi stated that transmission of this variant to humans is still a “scientific speculation” and “hypothesis”.
“This NeoCov is very different from the SARS-CoV (sarbecovirus) virus and belongs to merbecovirus, a different genus.
“It cannot infect humans with ACE2 (scientists are speculating whether it could combine with SARS and start affecting humans). This is the hypothesis put forward by the scientists (what it is). This is not unusual in science),” Gupta said.
He added that the “one in three people can die” theory is just a theory, which social media has made headlines with.
“It was just a theory that turned into sensational apocalyptic predictions,” says Gupta.
Even the World Health Organization (WHO) believes that the question of whether the NeoCov virus poses a threat to humans requires further research.
“Whether the virus detected in the study poses a danger to humans will require further study,” the health agency told TASS news agency.