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NeoCov Mutant Needs Further Study, Says WHO

New Delhi: NeoCov coronavirus discovered by Chinese scientists requires further study, the World Health Organisation said on Friday.

A new kind of coronavirus, NeoCov, that is found among the bats in South Africa was found by a team of Wuhan researchers. The researchers in a study said that the virus may pose a threat to humans in the future.

Coronaviruses are a large family of viruses that are responsible for causing diseases ranging from the common cold to Severe Acute Respiratory Syndrome (SARS).

According to the WHO, it is aware of the development, but the virus needs further study to ascertain if it poses a risk to humans.

“Whether the virus detected in the study will pose a risk for humans will require further study,” the WHO was quoted as saying by Russian news agency TASS.

The organisation asserted that the source of 75 per cent of infectious diseases in humans was wild animals. “Coronaviruses are often found in animals, including in bats which have been identified as a natural reservoir of many of these viruses,” the WHO said.

The WHO said it is working actively to tackle such emerging zoonotic viruses.

The world health body also expressed its gratitude to the Chinese researchers for sharing their research in preprint.