Vietnam detects hybrid of Indian and UK COVID-19 variant

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  • May 26, 2020
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    HANOI (REUTERS, XINHUA) – Vietnam health minister Nguyen Thanh Long said on Saturday (May 29) the country has detected a new variant of the coronavirus, which is a mix of the Covid-19 variants first identified in India and Britain and spreads quickly by air, online newspaper VnExpress reported.

    According to Mr Nguyen, the hybrid strain could spread very fast in the air, and the Vietnamese health ministry will announce this new strain on the world gene map.

    The two mutated strains first identified in Britain and India are currently the most common variants among the new Covid-19 cases in Vietnam in the ongoing infection wave.

    After successfully containing the coronavirus for most of last year, Vietnam is now battling an outbreak that is spreading more quickly.

    Nearly 3,600 people have been infected in 31 of its 63 cities and provinces since late April, accounting for more than half of the country’s total infections.

    “After running gene sequencing on newly detected patients, we have discovered a new variant that is a mix of India and UK ones,” Mr Nguyen was quoted as saying.

    More specifically, it is an Indian variant with mutations that originally belong to the UK variant,” he said.

    Vietnam had previously reported seven virus variants: B1222, B1619, D614G, B117 (UK), B1351, A231 and B16172 (India).

    Laboratory cultures of the new variant, which is much more transmissible than the previously known types, revealed that the virus replicated itself very quickly, explaining why so many new cases appeared in different locations in a short period, the health minister said.

    The South-east Asian country has registered 6,396 coronavirus cases so far, with 47 deaths (StraitsTimes)

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