New variant of virus found in Vietnam threatens to further impact global tech supply chain

Vietnam’s technology manufacturing industry is the country’s economic engine and an integral part of the global supply chain; however, the rising epidemic in Vietnam and the discovery of a new variant of the New Coronavirus (CCP virus) as it struggles to contain the epidemic could add to the supply chain disruptions.

Vietnam’s Health Minister Health Minister Nguyen Thanh Long said on 29: “For the first time in Vietnam, a new variant of the New Coronavirus with characteristics of the Indian and British viruses has been detected.” He noted that the British variant of the virus is more infectious than the other strains and that the Indian variant strain, in addition to being more infectious, may also be less susceptible to antibodies in the immune system.

Eight strains of the virus have been identified so far in Vietnam after the first confirmed case of the new crown was notified on January 23 last year, and other variant viruses include strains from Wuhan in mainland China, Europe, the UK, South Africa, India and Africa.

Vietnam has a number of industrial parks located in the northern provinces of Bac Giang and Bac Ninh, but so far it has been difficult to control the outbreak; the Vietnamese government has called for the protection of factories across the country. Now apparently even the south has fallen, and the authorities ordered on May 30 that Ho Chi Minh City, a major commercial city, will also implement social distance measures for 15 days from May 31.

Vietnamese Prime Minister Pham Minh Triet recently said he was urging the government to prioritize containing the spread of the epidemic in the provinces of Be Giang and Bac Ninh, warning that industrial parks in the two provinces were “extremely risky”.

Four of the province’s six industrial parks were forced to close on May 18 after 320 confirmed cases were reported in Bac Giang province since April 27, and parts of Bac Ninh province have been sealed off and social distancing measures have been implemented.

There are about 240,000 factory employees in Bac Giang province and about 330,000 factory workers in Bac Ninh province; Samsung’s two factories in northern Vietnam account for more than 50 percent of the company’s global smartphone production.

In the global manufacturing role of increasingly heavy Vietnam, recently detected a new new crown variant of the virus, may further impact the global supply chain.