The appearance of a new COVID-19 variant called NeoCov, identified by Chinese Scientists, could change current predictions and change the game.

This new variant – which is most closely related to the coronavirus that caused the Middle East Respiratory Syndrome (MERS) in 2012 – seems to cause more serious disease in humans, and apparently neither antibodies nor currently existing vaccines can neutralise this disease. According to forecasts, 1 in 3 people who become infected could die from it.

It is still too early to understand the real risks of this variant spreading around the world, but the warning signs are there and we may have to reconsider all the pandemic planning and surveillance that is now underway.

Keep safe.