A Covid19 hybrid variant that has a combined mutation of the UK strain and the Indian strain is spreading quickly by air in Vietnam. The new coronavirus variant is “very dangerous” according to Vietnam’s Health Minister Nguyen Thanh Long, replicating quickly.
The new variant was first discovered by Vietnamese authorities on Saturday. “Vietnam has uncovered a new Covid-19 variant combining characteristics of the two existing variants first found in India and the UK,” said Health Minister Nguyen Thanh Long to Reuters news agency.
Nguyen also mentioned that the new variant is more transmissible than other variants mainly through air and the particular variant was detected by running tests on newly detected patients. The genetic code of the new strain of virus will be made available soon by the Vietnam authorities. However, as mentioned by Mr. Nguyen the laboratory cultures of the new variant show that the virus is replicating itself very quickly which is a possible explanation of the sudden increase in cases all over the country.
The WHO has been investigating dangerous variants and mutants that spread very quickly and has identified four such variants so far. These variants of concern are from Indian, UK, South Africa and Brazil currently and the one detected in Vietnam is being investigated at the moment.
Vietnam has so far seen just close to 7100 cases and 47 deaths. However, more than 4000 of these cases have been reported since the outbreak was reported at the end of April in over 30 cities all across the country. To tackle the new outbreak the country is also conducting mass testing of risk groups and initiating new social distancing measures. Other Asian countries with Covid success stories like Singapore, Thailand and Taiwan have seen a similar surge in cases in the past month.
The WHO (World Health Organization), IMF (International Monetary Fund), WTO (World Trade Organization) and the World bank have warned about a “two-track Pandemic” wherein an inequitable distribution of vaccines is leaving several countries vulnerable to the virus and new dangerous variants threatening the lives of millions. Vietnam has also only been able to vaccinate 1% of its 96 million population with the first dose according to The Telegraph.