NeoCov Coronavirus detected in bats in South Africa requires further research – Centre

A Russian virology research centre has called for further research and assessment of the new NeoCov Coronavirus strain identified by Chinese scientists in bats in South Africa to confirm the possible risks from it.

The Russian State Research Centre of Virology and Biotechnology Vector made the call in an interview with Sputnik on Thursday.

Earlier this week, Chinese scientists, most of whom work for Wuhan University, published a preprint of an article about the risks of penetration of NeoCov into the human population on the bioRxiv website.

“Specialists of the Vector Scientific Centre are aware of the data obtained by Chinese specialists regarding the NeoCov coronavirus.

“At the moment, there are no discussions about the emergence of a new coronavirus that is ready to actively spread in the human population.

“The risks identified by Chinese experts are potential and require further study,’’ the agency said.

The virus in question is a close relative of the Middle East Respiratory Syndrome (MERS-CoV) but has similar ways of entry into human cells as SARS-CoV-2, the scientists said.

The scientists added that NeoCov has a latent potential to mutate and penetrate the human population.

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