Vietnam discovered a new variant of the coronavirus, which the country’s health minister said was a mix of the variants first detected in India and Britain. He called the variant “very dangerous” and said it was more contagious, Reuters reported.
The health minister, Nguyen Thanh Long, said laboratory tests indicated that the variant replicated itself very rapidly and that it could potentially explain the surge of cases in Vietnam. The country is coping with its worst outbreak yet.
It is not immediately clear how fully the new variant is understood. Scientists do not know whether it replicates as rapidly in real-world conditions as it does in the lab. They do not know how prevalent it may be. And they are still trying to understand whether it may evade the protections afforded by vaccines or natural immunity from a different version of the virus.
Rapid response: Vietnam announced new restrictions for Ho Chi Minh City on Sunday after an outbreak was traced back to a church. The country also enacted a ban on all religious events nationwide.
Regional look: Other Southeast Asian countries are also battling their worst outbreaks to date. Taiwan, another success story from last year, is also experiencing its worst outbreak. Vaccinations are rolling out slowly across Asia.
Courtesy – NYT