/* */

Thai Neurologist warns of COVID genetic structure mutations

14 Aug 2020

A Thai Neurologist has warned that Thailand will begin planning for the new coronavirus that causes Covid-19 for probable "genetic structure mutations." Professor Dr Thiravat Hemachudha, manager of the Chulalongkorn University Health Science Center for New Diseases, warned about the probable virus mutation.

Dr Thiravat cited findings from recent studies on Covid-19 in Vietnam and China horseshoe bats species that live in Southeast Asian countries like Thailand.

The same type of horseshoe bats found live in China and Vietnam and elsewhere in Southeast Asia also inhabits Thailand and the coronavirus evolution has been reliably observed in earlier studies, he said.

"So we must also plan to deal with other potential new coronavirus species that include the 2019 new coronavirus [that causes Covid-19]. That probably will encounter several mutations in genetic sequence," he said.

Such drastic changes in the genetic sequence of Covid-19 means that current methods used to check for the virus no longer work, he said.

Findings from studies of coronavirus strains in horseshoe bats in Vietnam and China showed that it was the native animal-eating habits of humans that made them susceptible to coronavirus infection from bats, which has now developed to infect people as well, he said.

Such results also undermine a suggested hypothesis that the new coronavirus, that affects Covid-19, might have spread from a laboratory studying biological weapons, he said. Others also blamed the lab leak in China.

In today's news, the government has yet to approve a government proposal to spend 600 million baht to finance co-operation between Thailand and Oxford University and a UK vaccine research firm on Covid-19 vaccines. Public Health Minister Anutin Charnvirakul said. The budget
will be spent in part on building Thailand's vaccine factory, he said.

Meanwhile, the government of Thailand confirmed 3 new cases of covid-19 coronavirus on Thursday in quarantined returnees. They were Thai, Singapore and Indian returnees.

The 3 new cases of covid-19 brings the total report in Thailand to 3,359 cases, 3,169 have healed and 58 people have died. Most of those patients who died have had other associated health problems , such as diabetes or heart disease.

While worldwide, cases of Covid-19 grew to 20.81 million by 292,967 over the previous 24 hours. The death toll went up 6,822 to 747,258. The United States had the highest number of situations at 5.36 million, an increase of 54,345, and the most deaths at 169,131, an increase of 1,382 which was the highest number.