A new coronavirus variant that’s highly contractable has been detected in Vietnam and features two other strains.
“Vietnam has uncovered a new COVID-19 variant combining characteristics of the two existing variants first found in India and the U.K.,” said Health Minister Nguyen Thanh Long. “That the new one is an Indian variant with mutations that originally belong to the U.K. variant is very dangerous.”
The announcement was made on Saturday, while the country deals with a recent surge of infections that began in May.
It’s stated by Long that the new variant could be responsible for the latest spike, according to the AP.
He also says scientists watched the variant’s ability to clone quickly in lab cultures, according to VnExpress. The new variant is more contractable in the air.
In addition to the new coronavirus variant, seven other variants had been detected in the country before the Saturday’s announcement. There’s not a name yet for the latest variant, but there’s plans to publish genome data of it by the ministry of health.
There’s been 6,713 cases and 47 deaths reported in Vietnam since the beginning of the pandemic as of Saturday.
Vietnam was renowned for their low case numbers and deaths early on in the coronavirus outbreak. In preventing the spread contributed aggressive social distancing and experience with earlier epidemics, which were seen as effective measured by the country.
However, with the recent case surge, restrictions have been reinforced. According to the AP, the authorities in large cities have closed down public parks and nonessential businesses to aid in the prevention of huge gatherings, as well as all religious events are banned countrywide.
Almost 29,000 individuals or 0.03% of the nation has been completely vaccinated against COVID-19, with only over 1 million doses being administered.