Nhac Nguyen / AFP via Getty Images
Vietnam has detected the highly infectious new coronavirus that is similar to two other strains.
“Vietnam has revealed a new model that combines the characteristics of two existing strains of COVID-19, first seen in India and England,” Health Minister Nguyen Thant Long said. “This new, mutated Indian variant, formerly belonging to the UK variant, is very dangerous.”
The announcement came on Saturday as the country is grappling with a recent rapidly growing infection that started in May.
Long said the new variant could be responsible for the latest surges, according to the AP.
The new variables can be transmitted more in air, and Long said scientists have observed the variable’s ability to replicate more quickly in laboratory cultures, according to VnExpress.
Seven other coronavirus strains were detected in the country ahead of Saturday’s announcement. The last variable has no name yet. But the health ministry plans to release its genome data.
Since the epidemic began, Vietnam has reported 6,713 cases and 47 deaths on Saturday. More than half of the 12 patients and deaths died last month, according to the Johns Hopkins Coronavirus Resource Center.
Most of the most recent cases reported were from Bac Ninh and Bac Giang provinces, both of which were large industries. Hundreds of thousands of people work there to produce products for big tech companies like Samsung, Canon and Apple.
Early in the epidemic, Vietnam was praised for low levels of sickness and death. The country’s aggressive social aloof policy and previous experience with the epidemic are seen as effective measures to stop its spread.
But as the case escalates again, restrictions have been placed again.The AP said all religious activities were banned across the country and that major urban authorities shut down unnecessary parks and businesses to help stop large-scale gatherings. According to the AP
Nearly 29,000 people, or .03% of the country, have been fully vaccinated against COVID-19, with more than 1 million doses being administered.