The variant, which is believed to have sparked a recent wave of COVID-19 infections in the country, has a mix of characteristics of the strains first discovered in the UK and India, according to VnExpress, an international journal.
Specifically, Health Minister Nguyen Thanh Long said the new variant is a version of the one first found in India with mutations like the British variant, according to the outlet.
The new variant is highly contagious when it spreads through the air, and Long said viral cultures revealed the virus was able to replicate very quickly.
“The Department of Health would announce the new variant of the coronavirus on the global genome map,” Long said, according to VnExpress. The variant has not yet been named.
The news from Vietnam comes as India continues to struggle after the coronavirus overwhelms hospitals and created a shortage of medical supplies in the country.
A potential sign of a pending reprieve, Reuters reported on Saturday that the South Asian county had seen a decrease in cases for the first time in 45 days. India has reported 173,790 new coronavirus infections in the past 24 hours. However, according to the press service, the death toll rose to 3,617.
The Indian variant, B.1.617, is believed to be the main cause of an explosion of cases in the country.
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It is not yet known whether a vaccine will resist the new variant announced by Vietnamese health authorities.