New COVID-19 Variant Detected

New COVID-19 Variant Detected

Another variant of the coronavirus has appeared in Vietnam. The latest variant is reportedly a cross between the Indian and the British variant and might be even more transmissible.

According to official information from the government, a new variant of the coronavirus has been discovered in Vietnam. According to reports from state media, Health Minister Nguyen Thanh Long said the new variant had elements of both the previously known British form and the Indian form.

Laboratory tests suggested that the new variant was spreading more than others, the minister said. After infection, the viral load in the patient’s throat increases very quickly and then spreads very widely in the area. Long did not comment on the number of patients infected with the new variant.

Viruses keep forming mutations, and numerous new variants have appeared since the Sars-CoV-2 virus was first detected in China at the end of 2019. The World Health Organization (WHO) has classified four variants as of concern, those that were first discovered in the UK and India, and two more from South Africa and Brazil.

In Vietnam, there are extremely few diseases compared to many other countries. Forty-seven people died from or with the virus. Vietnam has a population of nearly 100 million. So far, 6,396 corona cases have been registered in the Southeast Asian country, but more than 3,000 of them since the end of April.

There were particularly many cases in the two provinces of Bac Ninh and Bac Giang, where hundreds of thousands of workers work for companies such as Samsung or Canon in huge industrial areas and assemble Apple products.

Despite strict regulations, one-fifth of the 4,800 workers at a company in Bac Giang became infected. In the country’s largest metropolis with nine million inhabitants, Ho Chi Minh City, 85 people tested positive for the virus. The health ministry said the cases were due to a Protestant church.

Religious events have since been banned across the country. In larger cities, events have been cancelled, parks have been closed, and restaurants, bars and other businesses have closed.

Image by MRC Laboratory of Molecular Biology (CC BY-NC-ND 4.0)

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