Hanoi, Vietnam (AP) — Vietnam has discovered a new variant of the coronavirus, a hybrid of the first strains found in India and the United Kingdom, Vietnam’s Health Minister said Saturday.
According to Nguyen Thanh Long, scientists have examined the genetic structure of the virus that infects recent patients and found a new version of the virus. He said laboratory tests have shown that it can spread more easily than other versions of the virus.
The virus often undergoes small genetic changes during replication, and new variants of the coronavirus have been seen since it was first detected in China in late 2019. Lists “variant strains”, identified in the UK and India, as well as in South Africa and Brazil.
Long said the new variant could be responsible for the recent surge in Vietnam, which has spread to 30 of Vietnam’s 63 municipalities.
Vietnam initially had outstanding success in combating the virus. In early May, it recorded more than 3,100 confirmed cases and 35 deaths since the pandemic began.
However, in recent weeks, more than 3,500 new infections and 12 deaths have been identified in Vietnam, increasing the country’s total death to 47.
Most of the new transmissions were found in two states, Bac Ninh and Bac Giang, where hundreds of thousands of people work in large companies such as Samsung, Canon and Luxshare, Apple’s product assembly partner. Despite strict health regulations, Bac Zan companies found that one-fifth of their 4,800 employees tested positive for the virus.
According to the Ministry of Health, Ho Chi Minh City, the country’s largest city with a population of 9 million, tested positive for at least 85 people as part of a group of Protestant churches. Worshipers sat nearby to sing and sing without wearing proper masks or taking other precautions.
Vietnam then ordered a national ban on all religious events. In major cities, authorities have banned unnecessary businesses such as large gatherings, closed public parks, face-to-face restaurants, bars, clubs and spas.
Vietnam has so far vaccinated 1 million people with AstraZeneca. Last week, the company signed a deal with Pfizer for the 30 million batches it plans to offer in the third and fourth quarters of this year. It is also in talks with Moderna to provide enough shots to fully vaccinate 80% of 96 million people.