Health officials in Hanoi have confirmed that Vietnam has discovered a new COVID 19 variant which spreads quickly by air and is a combination of the strains found in UK and India. The characteristic of this strain s that the concentration of virus in the throat fluid increases rapidly and spreads very strongly to the surrounding environment.
Vietnam’s Central Institute of Hygiene and Epidemiology said in a statement Saturday that its scientists had detected gene mutations in four out of 32 patient samples through gene sequencing.
Vietnam has been one of the countries which was lauded for successfully tackling the pandemic situation, but fresh infections and deaths due to this hybrid variant is creating a panic in the country. The authorities have started putting restrictions on business and usual movement. Cafes, restaurants, hair salons and massage parlours as well as tourism and religious spots have been ordered to close in various areas of the country.
Nearly half of Vietnam’s 6,396 confirmed cases were detected in April alone, according to data from Johns Hopkins University. The measures, which include the shuttering of all non-essential services and the suspension of religious activities, came into place on Monday and will persist for two weeks. Gatherings of over 10 people in public have also been banned but a stricter policy is still being considered. The B.1.617.2 variant, believed to not only be more transmissible but have an increased capacity to evade the human immune response, was originally detected in India.