Vietnam detects a suspected new coronavirus variant that’s a hybrid of the UK and India strains

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“A brand new coronavirus variant with traits from the prevailing Indian and UK variants had been detected in Vietnam for the primary time,” Vietnam’s Minister of Well being Nguyen Thanh Lengthy advised a nationwide information convention Saturday.

The Southeast Asian nation was held up as a number one instance in containing the virus due to an aggressive technique of early screening of passengers at airports and a strict quarantine and monitoring program.

However since late April, Vietnam has reported a pointy enhance in Covid-19 circumstances. Nearly half its 6,396 confirmed infections had been reported previously month alone, in accordance with Johns Hopkins College information.

It isn’t clear if the suspected new variant is behind the sudden rise in infections. Whether it is, it may recommend it’s extra transmissible.

“The fourth wave of Covid-19 in Vietnam included infections in industrial zones, a number of sources of infections and the presence of assorted coronavirus variants. It’s going to unfold very quick and it is going to be very troublesome to manage,” the well being minister stated.

The World Well being Group stated on Saturday its Virus Evolution Working Group was working with officers in Vietnam to substantiate the doable new coronavirus variant after 4 individuals had been confirmed to be contaminated with a suspected new pressure.

“We have now not but made an evaluation of the virus variant reported in Vietnam. We count on that extra variants will proceed to be detected because the virus circulates and evolves and as sequencing capacities are enhanced worldwide,” stated WHO’s technical lead for Covid-19 Maria Van Kerkhove in a press release.

“From what we perceive, the variant they detected is the B.1.617.2 variant probably with a further mutation, nevertheless we are going to present extra info as quickly as we obtain it.”

The B.1.617.2 variant was first detected in India, the place officers have stated it and different variants have pushed the nation’s spike in Covid-19 circumstances.

British well being officers earlier this month upgraded B.1.617.2 to a variant of concern as a consequence of its fast unfold within the UK.

New restrictions as circumstances rise

On Sunday, the federal government introduced social distancing restrictions for Ho Chi Minh Metropolis, the nation’s largest and most populous city space, in accordance with Reuters information company.

The brand new measures, in place for 2 weeks from Monday, embrace the closure of non-essential providers, reminiscent of outlets and eating places, and the suspension of spiritual actions.

Ho Chi Minh Metropolis has seen an increase in circumstances associated to a non secular mission that has recorded not less than 125 constructive checks, accounting for a lot of the metropolis’s infections, Reuters reported, citing a authorities assertion.
Beyond India, a growing number of Asian countries are being ravaged by fresh coronavirus waves

Public gatherings of greater than 10 individuals are additionally banned, and the town is contemplating halving that quantity, in accordance with Reuters.

Final week, Vietnam widened lockdown measures in its industrialized north after the nation noticed its largest soar in Covid-19 circumstances, pushed by clusters in manufacturing unit zones in Bac Ninh and Bac Giang provinces, Reuters reported.

The outbreak has unfold to greater than 30 of Vietnam’s 63 cities and provinces, together with the capital Hanoi, which has shut eating places and banned public gatherings.

In a rustic of greater than 96 million individuals, fewer than 30,000 — 0.03% — have been vaccinated, in accordance with JHU information.

The well being ministry is working to safe 10 million vaccine doses below the COVAX cost-sharing scheme, in addition to an additional 20 million doses of Pfizer’s vaccine and 40 million of Russia’s Sputnik V, in accordance with Reuters.

Vietnam has to date obtained 2.9 million doses and goals to safe 150 million this 12 months, Reuters reported.

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