Authorities in Vietnam have detected a new coronavirus variant that is a combination of the Covid-19 variants first found in India and Britain, and spreads quickly by air, the health minister said on Saturday (May 29).
After successfully containing the virus for most of last year, Vietnam is grappling with a spike in infections since late April that accounts for more than half of the total 6,713 registered cases. So far, there have been 47 deaths.“Vietnam has uncovered a new Covid-19 variant combining characteristics of the two existing variants first found in India and the UK,” Health Minister Nguyen Thanh Long said in a statement. “The new variant is very dangerous."
The South-east Asian country had previously detected seven virus variants: B1222, B1619, D614G, B117 – known as the variant from Britain, B1351, A231 and B16172 – the variant from India.
Online newspaper VnExpress said Long had described the new variant as a hybrid of the variants first found in India and Britain.
“The new one is an Indian variant with mutations that originally belong to the UK variant,” Mr Long was quoted as saying, adding that authorities would soon announce the name and detailed characteristics of the newly discovered variant.