New strain of Vietnam virus is more infectious India mixes with UK variant

Vietnam will soon share its new discovery with the world, Health Minister Nguyen Thanh Long said today, after a new strain of coronavirus was discovered in the country, a hybrid of an Indian and British variant that can spread rapidly through the air.

Vietnam, which managed to contain coronavirus disease 2019 (COVID-19) for most of last year, has been hit by a wave of faster-spreading outbreaks.

Reuters reports that since late April, nearly 3,600 people have been infected in 31 of Vietnam’s 63 provinces and cities, accounting for more than half of the country’s total cases.

According to the news website VnExpress, Nguyen Thanh Long said, “We have genetically sequenced new patients and found a new mutant strain that combines Indian and British variants of the virus.”

He further explained, “More specifically, it’s the Indian variant plus a mutation that originally belonged on the British variant.”

The report mentioned that Nguyen Thanh Long said that Vietnam will soon make the newly discovered mutant strain of the virus public.

Previously, Vietnam had notified the emergence of seven mutated viruses in its territory, namely B.1.222, B.1.619, D614G, B.1.1.7 (i.e. the British variant), B.1.351, A.23.1 and B.1.617.2 (i.e. the Indian variant).

According to the report, Nguyen Thanh Long said the new strain of the virus is more infectious than any previously known species, and the results of the laboratory culture show that the virus replicates itself very quickly, explaining why there are so many new cases in different locations in a short period of time.

Vietnam currently has a cumulative total of 6,396 COVID-19 cases and 47 deaths from disease.