May 29, 2021 / 22:36

New strain of coronavirus detected in Vietnam

Provincial authorities are required to have more active, appropriate and effective measures to control and repel the disease.

The Vietnamese health ministry has detected a new strain of the coronavirus which is a mix of the coronavirus variants found first in the UK and India, Vietnam Health Minister Nguyen Thanh Long said at the national online conference hosted by Prime Minister Pham Minh Chinh on May 29.

 Prime Minister Pham Minh Chinh and delegates attend at the national online conference on Covid-19 prevention and control. Photos: VGP

The Indian mutant strain is found mostly in Bac Ninh and Bac Giang provinces, and Hanoi while the variant from the UK is detected in the beach city Danang and some other localities.

The resurgence of Covid-19 this time has spawned more outbreaks with more strains of virus than the previous flare-ups and which has stricken mainly industrial zones.  

The news strain of virus spreads quickly by air and it is particularly contagious in narrow and unventilated space. Patients show more serious symptoms and their treatment require a new level of intensive care, Long said.

Vietnam has recorded a total of eight strains of SARS-CoV-2, including: B.1.222, B.1.619, D614G, B.1.1.7 (the British variant), B.1.351, A. 23.1, B.1.617.2 (the Indian variant), and the newly-found one.

Working out plans

Addressing the conference, Prime Minister Pham Minh Chinh stated that the new and more complicated situation of the pandemic requires localities and relevant agencies to have more active, appropriate and effective measures to control and repel the disease, especially in big cities and industrial zones, with the spirit of "fighting the pandemic like fighting the enemy".

 Prime Minister Pham Minh Chinh addresses the conference on May 29

According to the Ministry of Health, in two Covid-19 hotspots Bac Ninh and Bac Giang, new cases are expected to be confirmed soon.

Bac Giang has built a response plan to deal with a scenario of 5,000 cases, while the plan of Bac Ninh is preparing for the outlook of 3,000 infections.

Some localities, especially densely populated urban areas such as Hanoi and Ho Chi Minh City, may continue to record scattered outbreaks and clusters of cases in the community, Long added.

The leader of the Ministry of Health noted: “Although more coronavirus clusters have been detected, the two cities are coping with the situation in a methodical way and put it under control.”

According to Minister Long, world countries are facing a dire shortage of vaccine, making it difficult to achieve the herd community goal by 2021.

In addition to accelerating research and production of homegrown vaccines, the ministry has actively negotiated the purchase of Covid-19 vaccines with world manufacturers.

Vietnam has secured supply commitments for more than 100 million doses of vaccines to administer to 70% of the population aged 18 years and over.

As of May 29 noon, the country reported 49 local new Covid-19 cases. The provinces of Bac Giang, Bac Ninh, Vinh Phuc and the cities of Hanoi and Danang lead in the number of coronavirus infections.