The new species discovered is almost 82% identical to coronavirus.
The discovery was made by a group of scientists from the University of Tokyo and the virus was found in the bat droppings living in Japan.
Scientists detected sarbecovirus RC-o319 and found a strong similarity to SARS-CoV-2. The new virus was phylogenetically positioned in the same clade as SARS-CoV-2 in bats that inhabit caves in Japan.
According to the study, the virus is 81.47% similar to SARS-CoV-2, although they also conducted clinical trials that showed that it is not transmitted to humans.
Researchers do not rule out that this virus is also outside China because the species of bats they studied, Rhinolophus spp, inhabit Asia, Europe and even Africa.
Scientists are soon to further deepen studies on wild animals in order to prevent outbreaks of new infections and to re-infect humans.
However, it is not the first time that a virus similar to SARS-CoV-2 has been found, there is a history that scientists found viruses with a 95% similarity in relation to the coronavirus in bats.