Vietnam has discovered a new COVID-19 variant which spreads quickly by air and is a combination of the strains first found in India and Britain, Several reports confirmed quoting health officials.
“We have discovered a new hybrid variant from the strains first found in Indian and the UK,” Health Minister Nguyen Thanh Long told a national meeting on the pandemic Saturday, according to state media.
“The characteristic of this strain is that it spreads quickly in the air. The concentration of virus in the throat fluid increases rapidly and spreads very strongly to the surrounding environment.”
Vietnam detects hybrid of Covid-19 variants identified in India and Britain, SE Asia News & Top Stories – The Straits Times https://t.co/44NpnMUbuq
— Norman Swan (@normanswan) May 29, 2021
He did not specify the number of cases recorded with this new variant but said Vietnam will soon announce the discovery in the world’s map of genetic strains.
Vietnam’s Central Institute of Hygiene and Epidemiology said in a statement Saturday that its scientists had detected gene mutations in four out of 32 patient samples through gene sequencing.
There were seven known coronavirus variants in Vietnam before Long’s announcement, according to the Ministry of Health.
We ain't catching a break??? 😏
Vietnam has detected a Covid variant that appears to be a combination of the Indian and UK variants and can spread quickly by air, officials say. https://t.co/S1md5lAmmP
— Oliver Mathenge (@OliverMathenge) May 30, 2021
The new round of infections has made the public and government fearful and authorities have quickly moved to place strict limits on movement and business activity.
Cafes, restaurants, hair salons and massage parlours as well as tourism and religious spots have been ordered to close in various areas of the country.
Vietnam — a country of 97 million people — has vaccinated a little over a million citizens.
It is now ramping up its jab rollout and hopes to achieve herd immunity by the end of the year, according to the health minister.
Authorities have called on people and businesses to donate money to help procure vaccines, while embassies and international organisations have been contacted for assistance, state media reported.