Vietnam has discovered a new variant of the covid-19 virus, which would be a combination of the Indian and British variants, official media reported on Saturday.
The news comes to light at a time when the country is facing a new wave of infections in more than half of its territory, including industrial zones and large cities such as Hanoi and Ho Chi Minh.
Until now, Vietnam has been relatively protected from the virus, with most of the total 6,700 cases and 47 deaths recorded since April.
“We have discovered a hybrid variant, combining Indian and British,” Health Minister Nguyen Thanh Long told a meeting on the pandemic on Saturday.
“The main characteristic of this virus is that it spreads rapidly through the air. The concentration of virus in the throat and saliva increases rapidly and spreads rapidly in a close environment, “he added.
The person in charge did not detail how many cases of this new variant have been registered so far and assured that its characteristics will be published soon so that it is registered.
Up to this point, Vietnam had registered seven variants of the virus. The country had been praised for its handling of the first wave of the pandemic last year, against which it applied mass quarantines and a strict diagnostic and isolation system.
At this time and due to the increase in infections, movements are very limited in the country and places of leisure and worship are closed in several regions.
Vietnam has 97 million inhabitants and so far it has vaccinated one million people. The authorities want to accelerate the pace and reach a herd immunity by the end of the year.