WHO spokesman Gregory Hartl told Xinhua Thursday that the speed of
replication of the virus is not related with its actual ability to
He also reiterated that a comparison between the new virus and SARS virus is "not helpful".
said that the novel coronavirus which we are seeing now is different
genetically from SARS, it does not transmit as easily as SARS did, there
are many fewer cases for the time-being of this novel coronavirus, and
it causes a different spectrum of disease in some patients.
"So the two viruses are not the same," he said.
"We prefer to say that the two viruses are from the same family of coronaviruses, but that is where comparisons stop," he said.