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Coronavirus (Covid-19)

Top virologist says Covid-19 likely to mutate, making current tests useless

Jack Burton



Top virologist says Covid-19 likely to mutate, making current tests useless | The Thaiger
PHOTO: Dr Thiravat Hemachudha - Siamrath
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A prominent Thai virologist is warning that the Covid-19 coronavirus is mutating and could return in a different, more contagious, or potentially, more dangerous or less dangerous, form. Thiravat Hemachudha, director of the Health Science Centre of Emerging Diseases at Chulalongkorn University, says that Thailand “should begin preparing for possible ‘genetic code alterations’ of the novel coronavirus that causes Covid-19.” He cited recent findings from studies in Vietnam and China on coronavirus strains in horseshoe bats, which inhabit Southeast Asia, including Thailand.

“So we have to prepare to deal also with other possible new strains of the coronavirus that include the 2019 novel coronavirus, which is likely to undergo multiple genetic code alterations.”

Radical changes in the genetic code of the coronavirus may result in current screening techniques becoming ineffective, according to Thiravat.

Studies in both Vietnam and China conducted into coronavirus strains in horseshoe bats have revealed that it was the wild-animal-eating habits of humans that made them vulnerable the coronavirus in bats that has jumped the species to also infect humans now, according to Thiravat.

These findings also undermine the theory that the Covid-19 escaped from a biological weapons testing laboratory. Many, including US Secretary of State Mike Pompeo, have blamed China for the “lab leak”.

In a related story, Public Health Minister Anutin Charnvirakul says the Cabinet has yet to approve a proposed 600 million baht to fund cooperation on Covid-19 vaccine development between Thailand, Oxford University and a vaccine research company in the UK. He says the budget will be spent in part to develop a vaccine factory in Thailand.

SOURCES: Chiang Rai Times | Bangkok Post

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Jack Burton is an American writer, broadcaster, linguist and journalist who has lived in Asia since 1987. A native of the state of Georgia, he attended the The University of Georgia's Henry Grady School of Journalism, which hands out journalism's prestigious Peabody Awards. His works have appeared in The China Post, The South China Morning Post, The International Herald Tribune and many magazines throughout Asia and the world. He is fluent in Mandarin and has appeared on television and radio for decades in Taiwan, Mainland China, Hong Kong and Macau.



  1. Avatar

    Toby Andrews

    August 14, 2020 at 11:57 am

    Another end of the world predictor.
    I would’t believe this vyrolist if he said water was wet.
    That looks like one of his former patients on the shelf behind.

  2. Avatar

    Bobby m

    August 14, 2020 at 1:09 pm

    All viruses mutate

    That’s why everybody has been telling thailand to get on with life and like the rest of us, learn to live with and control this virus the best we can. If not, they may as well just keep the door locked and throw away the key. Along with their economy. In one form or another, it’s never going away. It may become more dangerous it may become less dangerous. But it’s not going away.

  3. Avatar


    August 14, 2020 at 3:39 pm

    Oh boy, a flu that mutates, just like all flu’s do… imagine that.


    same old crap propaganda.

  4. Avatar


    August 14, 2020 at 5:28 pm

    A prominent biologist on Joe Rogan recently stated that there is essentially zero chance that COVID 19 is not a modified lab virus. He doesn’t think it was a weapon or intentionally released, just that it was modified to be more contagious to make it easier to study (standard practice) and that it somehow leaked out of the lab.

    • Avatar

      Rinky Stingpiece

      August 15, 2020 at 1:05 am

      It almost doesn’t matter… there will never be evidence, an investigation, or an admission. It’s now out there, and the whole species has to adapt to it, and some people won’t, and that’s evolution. It’s amazing how many people are sustained through tax and insurance premiums who live in disgusting conditions and in terrible health, and it’s not entirely involuntary. This is a cull.

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