oppn parties The NeoCov Warning: More Possible Shocks In The Offing For Humans

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  • Supreme Court approves two-child norm for government jobs in Rajasthan
  • DMK issues rocket ad with Chinese flag, PM Modi slams party
  • BJP alleges that Congress workers raised slogans like 'Pakistan jindabad' outside Karnataka assembly after the results for the RS polls were declared. CM Siddaramaiah promises stern action if claim found true
  • Calcutta HC says any agency can arrest absconding Sandeshkhali TMC strongman Sk Shahjahan
  • Himachal Pradesh Speaker suspends 15 BJP MLAs for unruly behaviour
  • Joint teams of Navy, NCB and Gujarat ATS seized a boat with 3200kgs of narcotics in high seas off Gujarat coast. Five crew members were also arrested
  • Centre tells Supreme Court that economic disaster will follow if states are allowed to tax mineral land
  • NCLT asks Byju's to keep rights issue funds in a different account
  • Sunil Bharti Mittal of Bharti Enterprises was conferred the honorary Knighthood by Britain's King Charles III for services rendered in furthering business relations between the UK & India
  • RIL to merge Viacom18 with Disney's Star in $8.5bn deal, Nita Ambani to lead the board of merged entity
  • Vodafone Idea shares fall nearly 15% over fears of huge fund raising
  • Stock markets crash on Wednesday: Sensex loses 790 points to 72304 and Nifty 247 points to 21951
  • BCCI gets tough, removes Shreyas Iyer and Ishan Kishan from central contracts for missing Ranji Trophy. In a first, it starts fast bowling contracts to reward emerging players like Akash Deep and four others
  • Tennis: Sumit Nagal loses in first round of Dubai Duty Free tournament
  • WPL: UP Warriorz beat Mumbai Indians by 7 wickets
Bengal police arrests TMC leader Sk Shahjahan, the prime accused in the Sandeshkhali disturbances
oppn parties
The NeoCov Warning: More Possible Shocks In The Offing For Humans

By Sunil Garodia
First publised on 2022-01-29 03:26:11

About the Author

Sunil Garodia Editor-in-Chief of indiacommentary.com. Current Affairs analyst and political commentator.

In a yet-to-be-peer reviewed study published in BioRxiv, Chinese researchers from Wuhan have flagged a new coronavirus which they have detected in bats in South Africa. Named NeoCov, the new virus is said to be closely related to the Middle-East respiratory syndrome (MERS), a viral disease that was first identified in Saudi Arabia in 2012. They also said that although in its current form NeoCov is unlikely to infect humans but it can mutate and any of those mutations can potentially infect humans. They said that "NeoCov and its close relative PDF-2180-CoV can efficiently use some types of bat Angiotesin-converting enzyme 2 (ACE2) and, less favourably, human ACE2 for entry". But what is alarming is that Chinese scientists found that if NeoCov begins to infect humans, it will have a very high transmission rate and the mortality rate will be close to 33% (0ne in three infected persons might die). Moreover, they also found that NeoCov could not be neutralized by antibodies that target the Covid virus.

Although not confirmed yet, these are disturbing findings and prove that the world is in for more shocks. The World Health Organization (WHO) said that it was aware of the developments but the virus requires further study to find out if it poses a risk to humans. WHO said that the source of more than three-fourths of infectious disease in humans was wild animals, and it was working actively to tackle such zoonotic viruses.

Though these are early days to predict how NeoCov will affect humans, the early warning by Chinese scientists gives the world time to devise effective strategies for the situation when, and if, a mutation of NeoCov starts infecting humans. The possible high rate of infection and mortality pose a huge risk of overwhelming health infrastructure and harming economies worldwide. Governments around the world must prepare to deal with such an eventuality. Prime Minister Modi had recently warned that states must be prepared for new variants of coronavirus and must not let their guard down. In line with this, the upcoming Budget must provide for massive investment in health infrastructure.