India’s mutated new coronavirus is hitting the gray area of China and Vietnam

On May 11, the Vietnamese Ministry of Defense held a meeting on the prevention and control of Newcastle pneumonia (CCP), at which it was noted that the entire Vietnamese army “has activated the highest level of epidemic prevention response. On the same day, Hanoi, Ho Chi Minh City and other important cities also held a similar meeting, proposing “to start the highest level of epidemic prevention and control program”. The Ministry of Health of Vietnam was even prepared for “30,000 people to be infected”.

At first glance, the fourth wave of the new epidemic in Vietnam, which began on April 27, seems to have had a limited impact: there are currently 644 patients in the country, which is quite easy compared to other epidemic areas around the world. Hanoi’s move seems to be a trivial one. But considering that the virus that has hit Vietnam this time is the B1.167 variant from India, which has had serious consequences in the gray area between China and Vietnam, it makes sense.

For the Vietnamese side, the fourth wave of the epidemic started when the Vietnamese side received a group of “Indian experts” in An Phuoc province, who entered the quarantine site on April 17 and were diagnosed after 19, and on the 27th, the Vietnamese side discovered the chain of infection among the staff at the quarantine site, and then called off the “North-South Liberation Day” on April 30. ” and Labor Day during all the activities such as entertainment, tourism, etc., schools in the infected areas arranged for emergency suspension, but all this is only the beginning.

According to the findings of Indian scientists, the Indian double mutant virus discovered back in March and introduced into Vietnam in late April could lead to immune escape and reduce the effectiveness of the vaccine, while its contagiousness would also increase. This was soon reflected in a notification from the China Service.

For Hanoians, this sudden outbreak led to another postponement of the opening of LRT Line 2A, which was scheduled for May 1

While the outside world was focused on the Indian outbreak, its variant virus had already spread outward to Southeast Asia

The two variants of India’s new coronavirus are spreading to neighboring regions as opposed to India, which has accepted the status quo and seen a slight drop in the number of illnesses and deaths. (Associated Press)

Hanoi has been relentless in promoting the Light Rail Line 2A, which is, after all, one of the few urban railways in Vietnam that is actually ready for immediate operation. (Screenshot of Voice of Vietnam webpage)

At present, real estate prices along Line 2A continue to rise. (Screenshot of Vietnam People’s Daily webpage)

According to the Chinese quarantine department’s notification to the Vietnamese side on April 30, a number of “Chinese experts” who returned from Vietnam were infected with the new crown, and after receiving the notification, the Vietnamese side started to investigate from May 1 and found the blind area of the infection chain which was previously missed. The Chinese side’s warning also became an important signal for the Vietnamese side to step up efforts to take detection, isolation and other means.

According to the Vietnamese side’s investigation, five Chinese personnel were in the quarantine site where the “Indian experts” were housed in An Pei Province between April 9 and 23. These five people may have contracted the disease in the quarantine site after April 18 and were released from quarantine in a symptom-free state and went on business and pleasure trips in various parts of Vietnam between April 23 and 29.

As the Chinese “experts” frequently entered and left beauty salons, massage rooms, karaoke and other confined space entertainment venues in Da Nang after April 23, their behavior was close to smuggling, which made the Vietnamese epidemiological investigation and police work to regulate entertainment venues almost parallel. It was also within this gray space between legal and illegal that the Vietnamese discovered another chain of infection.

By May 9, these five people had infected at least 69 people in Vietnam, with the earliest confirmed infection occurring on or about April 23. The ability of this variant of the virus to spread is thus evident. This led to a ban on entertainment venues throughout the country to prevent the outbreak from expanding.

After that, the Vietnamese side found a large-scale hospital infection in Hanoi on May 6 and 7. In response, Vietnamese Prime Minister Pham Minh Triet issued a speech on May 9, demanding that all places should “take active measures and raise vigilance” and that local officials should be held accountable in the event of an “uncontrollable large-scale epidemic”.

The 21-day quarantine, mass vaccination and closure of infected areas since the fourth wave of the outbreak have been effective and useful. The number of new patients dropped from a peak of 125 on May 10 to 52 on May 12.

But for Hanoi, the battle against the Indian variant of the virus may have only just begun. The gray area, including along the border, is the disaster area as opposed to the clear outbreak control. Considering the high number of cross-border incidents in Vietnam near Cambodia and Laos’ Long An and Tay Ninh provinces, Laos added 2,100% of new patients in April, and the Vietnamese army has been on tight guard in southwest Vietnam since April 25.

In addition, the existence of gray areas along the Sino-Vietnamese border may also be a hidden danger. According to Vietnam border inspection data, from January 1 to May 6, 2021, 13,859 people (including 336 Chinese) illegally sneaked into Vietnam from the Chinese side of the border alone.

Compared to most of the Vietnamese who smuggle small goods to and from China and Vietnam, the Chinese who cross Vietnam to Laos and Cambodia to commit online gambling or telecommunication fraud have become a high-risk group. This poses a great threat to the prevention work of the Vietnamese side, and the investigation and detection of similar cases may also be the key to prevent the invasion of the Indian variant of the virus.