Covid19 – Hybrid of B.1.617.2 and UK variant detected in Vietnam
Vietnam health minister Nguyen Thanh Long said on Saturday the country has detected a new variant of the coronavirus, a mix of the Indian and UK Covid-19 variants that spreads quickly by air. “After running gene sequencing on newly detected patients, we have discovered a new variant that is a mix of India and UK ones,” Nguyen Thanh Long was quoted as saying.
Vietnam had previously reported seven virus variants: B.1.222, B.1.619, D614G, B.1.1.7 (the UK variant), B.1.351, A.23.1 and B.1.617.2. Laboratory cultures of the new variant, which is much more transmissible that the previously known types, revealed that the virus replicated itself very quickly, explaining why so many new cases appeared in different locations in a short period, Long was quoted as saying.
After successfully containing the coronavirus for most of last year, Vietnam is now tackling a new outbreak that is spreading more quickly, infecting more than 3,200 people in 30 of its 63 cities and provinces since late April. The Southeast Asian country, with a population of 98 million, has administered more than 1 million COVID-19 vaccine doses so far out of 2.9 million it has received, well short of the vaccination rate in some neighbouring countries.