An ongoing apocalyptic outbreak of a new virus causing pneumonia-like clusters in Wuhan city, China, has gleamed the world. The outbreak, confirmed on the New Year's Eve 2020, has known no boundaries since then. The number has surpassed that of Severe Acute Respiratory Syndrome (SARS) and Middle East respiratory syndrome (MERS), and is uninterruptedly escalating. Being an RNA virus, it has a propensity to mutate due to the low proofreading capacity of RNA-dependent RNA polymerase. Step-wise mutations have led to the gradual spillover of virus and after crossing the inter-species interface, the virus has adapted itself for a stable human-to-human transmission. The disease caused by severe acute respiratory syndrome coronavirus (CoV)-2 (SARS-CoV-2) can prove deadlier if the so-called 'super-spreading events' emerge with time. Recent research has shown the maximum homology of 99% of SARS-CoV-2 to pangolins associated coronavirus, owing to which these can serve as potential intermediate host. India is responding swiftly to the emergency situation, and the whole of the country is under lockdown since 25 March 2020, to ensure social distancing. All the international flights are padlocked and the travellers are being screened at airports and seaports via thermal sensors, and quarantine for a period of 14 days is recommended. Three hundred and forty-five patients across the country tested positive with six fatalities as of 22 March 2020. No specific anti-CoV drugs are currently available. Patients are being treated with protease drugs are inhibitors, remdesivir, chloroquine, angiotensin-converting enzyme 2 inhibitors, ivermectin, sarilumab and tocilizumab, though none of these is Food and Drug Administration approved and are undergoing trials. Preventive measures such as social distancing, quarantine, cough etiquettes, proper hand washing, cleaning and decontaminating the surfaces are the mainstay for curbing the transmission of this virus. The present review highlights the update of novel SARS-CoV-2 in context to the Indian scenario.
Keywords: Angiotensin-converting enzyme-2; RNA-dependent RNA polymerase; SARS-CoV-2; Wuhan; bats; hand hygiene; quarantine; social distancing.
Conflict of interest statement
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