Authorities in Vietnam have detected a brand new coronavirus variant that may be a mixture of the Indian and UK COVID-19 variants and spreads rapidly by air, the well being minister stated on Saturday.
After efficiently containing the virus for many of final yr, Vietnam is grappling with an increase in infections since late April that accounts for greater than half of the overall 6,856 registered circumstances. Thus far, there have been 47 deaths.
“Vietnam has uncovered a brand new COVID-19 variant combining traits of the 2 present variants first present in India and the UK,” Well being Minister Nguyen Thanh Lengthy stated, describing it as a hybrid of the 2 identified variants.
“That the brand new one is an Indian variant with mutations that initially belong to the UK variant could be very harmful,” he advised a authorities assembly, a recording of which was obtained by Reuters.
The Southeast Asian nation had beforehand detected seven virus variants: B.1.222, B.1.619, D614G, B.1.1.7 – often known as the UK variant, B.1.351, A.23.1 and B.1.617.2 – the “Indian variant”.
Lengthy stated Vietnam would quickly publish genome information of the newly recognized variant, which he stated was extra transmissible than the beforehand identified varieties.
The World Well being Group (WHO) has recognized 4 variants of SARS-CoV-2 of world concern. These embody variants that emerged first in India, Britain, South Africa and Brazil. learn extra
Officers on the WHO didn’t instantly reply to a request for remark relating to the variant recognized in Vietnam.
Lengthy stated laboratory cultures of the brand new variant confirmed the virus replicated itself in a short time, probably explaining why so many new circumstances had appeared in numerous components of the nation in a brief time period.
The Well being Ministry advised the assembly the federal government was working to safe 10 million vaccine doses below the COVAX cost-sharing scheme, in addition to an additional 20 million doses of Pfizer’s (PFE.N) vaccine and 40 million of Russia’s Sputnik V.
The nation of about 98 million folks has thus far obtained 2.9 million doses and goals to safe 150 million this yr.
Our Requirements: The Thomson Reuters Belief Ideas.