‘Everything else is hype,’ says Maharashtra Covid task force expert on NeoCov
Dr Shashank Joshi, a member of the Maharashtra Covid task force, debunked the confusion over NeoCov, a coronavirus found by Wuhan researchers. The virus is closely related to MERS Cov and enters cells through DPP4 receptors, according to Dr Joshi. Asked if there is a reason to worry about NeoCov, Dr Joshi replied that NeoCov can use ACE2 receptors in bats but cannot use human ACE2 receptors without a new mutation.
NeoCov has never been found in humans, according to experts. As it is similar to the Middle East Respiratory Syndrome (MERS), it could kill one in three people if it ever infects humans. It has not been found that NeoCov jumps from bats to humans.
NeoCov, which has been brought to the attention of the world by researchers from the Chinese Academy of Sciences and Wuhan University, is not infectious in its current form, but could be harmful if further mutations occur.
NeoCoV and its close relative, PDF-2180-CoV, were found by the authors of the study to be able to efficiently use ACE2 from bats and human ACE2 less favourably, for entry.
To determine whether the virus poses any threat to humans, further study is needed. The World Health Organization said to Russian news agency Tass that animals, particularly wild ones, cause more than 75% of the newly emerging infectious diseases in humans. Coronaviruses have also been found in animals, including bats, which may act as natural reservoirs of these diseases.