Bats and pangolins are certainly not the animal reservoir of the Coronavirus, since the coronaviruses identified in these species are not sufficiently similar to SARS-CoV-2, according to Liang Wannian, a Chinese expert from Tsinghua University.
Liang said this on Tuesday at a news conference of the World Health Organisation’s expert team.
“Coronaviruses most highly related to SARS-CoV-2 are to be found in bats and pangolins, suggesting they could be the reservoir of the virus that causes COVID-19.
“This is on the basis of high similarity and sequences between the standard viruses and SARS-CoV-2.
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“However, the viruses identified so far from neither of these species are sufficiently similar to SARS-CoV-2 to serve as a direct progenitor of the SARS-CoV-2,” Liang added.
Severe Acute Respiratory Syndrome Coronavirus 2 (SARS-CoV-2) is the virus that causes COVID-19, the respiratory illness responsible for the coronavirus pandemic.
Colloquially known as simply the coronavirus, it was previously referred to by its provisional name, 2019 novel coronavirus (2019-nCoV), and has also been called human coronavirus 2019 (HCoV-19 or hCoV-19).