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Vietnam Reports New Airborne UK, Indian Hybrid Variant of COVID-19

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Vietnam Reports New Airborne UK, Indian Hybrid Variant of COVID-19

The health Minister of Vietnam has reported health officials have discovered a new Covid-19 variant that spreads rapidly by air . The new variant is a combination of the Indian and British variants, Health Minister Nguyen Thanh Long reported on Saturday.

Vietnam is struggling to deal with fresh outbreaks of covid-19 across more than half of its territory including industrial zones and big cities such as Hanoi and Ho Chi Minh City. More than 6,700 cases including 47 deaths have been reported in Vietnam, since April.

The characteristic of this new variant is that it spreads quickly in the air. The concentration of virus in the throat fluid increases rapidly and spreads very strongly to the surrounding environment.

Minister Nguyen did not specify the number of cases recorded with the new UK-Indian variant but said Vietnam would soon announce the discovery in the world’s map of genetic strains.

There were seven known coronavirus variants in Vietnam before Long’s announcement, according to the ministry.

Vietnam has previously received widespread praise for its aggressive pandemic response, with mass quarantines and strict contact tracing helping keep infection rates low.

WHO following 10 covid-19 variants

Meanwhile, the World Health Organization (WHO) is closely following 10 covid-19 variants “of interest” or “of concern” across the world, including two that were first detected in the U.S. and a triple-mutant variant that’s wreaking havoc in India, as potential global public health threats.

New Covid-19 strains pop up every day as the virus continues to mutate, but only a handful make WHO’s official watchlist as a “variant of interest” or the more serious designation “variant of concern,” which is generally defined as a mutated strain that’s more contagious, more deadly and more resistant to current vaccines and treatments.

The organization has classified three strains as variants of concern: B.1.1.7, which was first detected in the U.K. and is the most prevalent strain currently circulating throughout the U.S.; B.1.351, first detected in South Africa, and the P.1 variant, first detected in Brazil.

One variant of interest is the B.1617 variant, or triple-mutant strain, first found in India, but the WHO’s technical lead for Covid-19, Maria Van Kerkhove, said more studies are needed to completely understand its significance.

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