Vietnam finds hybrid of COVID-19 variants first detected in India, UK –

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Vietnam finds hybrid of COVID-19 variants first detected in India, UK – fr


HANOI – Vietnamese authorities have detected a new variant of the coronavirus which is a combination of the variants first found in India and the UK and is spreading rapidly by air, the health minister said on Saturday.

After successfully containing the virus for most of last year, Vietnam has struggled with a spike in infections since the end of April that represents more than half of the total of 6,713 recorded cases. So far, there have been 47 deaths.

“Vietnam has discovered a new variant of COVID-19 combining the 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,” he added.

The Southeast Asian country had previously detected seven variants of the virus: B.1.222, B.1.619, D614G, B.1.1.7 – known as the UK variant, B.1.351, A.23.1 and B .1.617.2 – the “Indian a variant. “

Online newspaper VnExpress said Long described the new variant as a hybrid of the Indian and British variants.

“The new one is an Indian variant with mutations that originally belong to the British variant,” said Long, adding that authorities would soon announce the name and detailed characteristics of the newly discovered variant.

The World Health Organization (WHO) has identified four variants of SARS-CoV-2 of global interest. These include variants that first appeared in India, Great Britain, South Africa and Brazil.

WHO officials did not immediately respond to a request for comment regarding the new variant identified in Vietnam.

Laboratory cultures of the new variant, which is much more transmissible than previously known types, revealed that the virus replicated very quickly, Long said.

He said this could explain why so many new cases have emerged in different parts of the country in a short period of time.

(Reporting by Phuong Nguyen; Additional reporting by Stephanie Nebehay in Geneva and Brenna Hughes Neghaiwi in Zurich; Editing by William Mallard and Helen Popper)

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