Scientists warn of new COVID strain NeoCoV with potentiality of killing 1 in 3 patients: Report

COVID testing equipment on table in a healthcare facility in Srinagar. [FPK File Photo/Zainab]

A team of scientists from Wuhan has warned of a new type of Coronavirus ‘NeoCoV’, which they claim is highly infectious and virulent. The virus has the potentiality of killing 1 in 3 patients infected by the novel strain.

Related to the Middle East respiratory syndrome MERS-coronavirus, NeoCoV carries with it the potentially combined high mortality rate of MERS-CoV (where one in three infected people die on average) and the high transmission rate of the current SARS-CoV-2 coronavirus, international news agency Sputnik reported.

The new strain, according to the report, was found first in the bat population in South Africa and was then spread to other animal specified. The scientists claim the virus needs just mutation to turn it into a zoonotic pathogen, capable of infiltrating human cells.

The strain is significantly more dangerous than other variants because of its ability to bind to the ACE2 receptor differently than the previous strains, the report said quoting the research work.

As a consequence, the antibodies and protein molecules produced by humans are not immune to fight the respiratory diseases and complications induced by the infection caused by the NeoCoV.

In response to the findings of the new study, Russian researchers from Vector Russian State Research Centre of Virology and Biotechnology are believed to be aware of the research conducted by Wuhan scientists on NeoCoV coronavirus. But they added that the new virus at present is not capable of transmitting among humans.

The research findings come at a time when the coronavirus caseloads are once again on the rise across the globe, driven by the new highly infectious variant of the virus, Omicron.

Earlier on Friday, India reported more than 2.51 lakh- 2,51,209- coronavirus cases and 627 deaths in the last 24 hours, the Health Ministry of India said.

The recovery rate has marginally increased to 93.6 per cent. The daily positivity rate- the share of coronavirus tests that return positive and are considered a key marker of the pandemic’s status- is down from 19.59% to 15.88% while the weekly positivity rate was recorded at 17.47 per cent.


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