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

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  • Supreme Court stays Karnataka HC order blocking operations of Kannada news channel Power TV. Says right to free speech must be "zealously protected" by courts
  • Opposition slams Centre for Samvidhan Hatya Diwas, says the Constitution is being murdered on daily basis under the present BJP government
  • Centre notifies June 25 as 'Samvidhan Hatya Diwas'. This was the date on which Indira Gandhi imposed the Emergency in 1975
  • Bengal moves SC against state governor for keeping 8 bills pending
  • Mamata Banerjee meets Uddhav Thackeray in Mumbai, says 'khela on' and promises to campaign for his party in the Maharashtra assembly elections
  • Stars and eminent persons from across the globe attend the wedding of Anant Ambani with Radhika Merchant at the Jio World Convention Centre in Mumbai
  • Controversial IAS trainee Puja Khedkar faces dismissal from service if her quato and disability claims are found false
  • SC says stay on bail should be in rare cases like terrorism or where order is perverse otherwise personal liberty and Article 21 will go for a toss
  • Supreme Court says judicial review of arrests by ED is necessary to check improper exrecise of power to arrest
  • Supreme Court grants interim bail to Arvind Kejriwal in the money laundering case in Delhi liquor policy case but he will remain in jail as he is under CBI detention in the corruption case in the same scam
  • Retail inflation rises to 5.1% in June, the highest in 4 months
  • Government to avoid merger of BSNL-MTNL. Instead, MTNL's operations will be shifted to BSNL to give the latter an all-India presence
  • Women's U-19 Asia Cup: India to clash with Pakistan on July 19
  • Paris Olympics badminton draws: P V Sindhu in easy group but gets a tough draw later while H S Prannoy and Lakshya Sen might clash in pre-quarter finals
  • After two consecutive wins, India look to seal series when they meet Zimbabwe in the 4th T20 today
BJP and allies win all 9 seats they contested in the Maharashtra Legislative Council poll
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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.