Authorities in Vietnam have detected a new coronavirus variant that is a combination of the Indian and UK COVID-19 variants and spreads quickly by air. Vietnam’s Health Minister Nguyen Thanh Long said that the new variant is an Indian variant with mutations that originally belong to the UK and it is very dangerous.
He added that Vietnam would soon publish genome data of the newly identified variant, which he said was more transmissible than the previously known types. Maria Van Kerkhove, WHO Technical Lead for COVID-19, said that they have still not yet made an assessment of the virus variant reported in Vietnam.
She added that WHO’s Vietnam office is working with the Ministry of Health in Vietnam to gather more information. After successfully containing the virus for most of last year, Vietnam is grappling with a rise in infections since late April that accounts for more than half of the total 6,856 registered cases. So far, there have been 47 deaths.