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Feb 13, 2021 / 21:34

Four coronavirus variants found in Vietnam

Nearly 2,200 people in Vietnam have so far been tested positive for Covid-19 after a year the virus broke out in the country.

Four coronavirus variants have been so far found in Vietnam since the detection of SARS-CoV-2 which was firstly broke out in China’s Wuhan City in early 2020.

 So far, four coronavirus variants detected in Vietnam. Photo: VNExpress

After a year of the spread of SARS-CoV-2, the country bordering with China has reported the UK variant, the “B lineage” and called B.1.1.7, the variant firstly found in South Africa, the “A lineage” and referred to as A.23.1 firstly detected in Rwanda in October 2020, and D614G known more familiarly to scientists as “G.”

The UK variant

Vietnam’s Ministry of Health announced the first case infected with the UK variant on January 2, 2021. The patient returned to the country from the UK on December 22, 2020.

The variant was then detected in the Hai Duong outbreak, Health Minister Nguyen Thanh Long said at an online meeting on February 2.

Dr Nguyen Trung Cap, deputy director of the National Hospital for Tropical Diseases, said symptoms in 165 Covid-19 patients in Hai Duong showed that their lungs easily damaged than those infected with SARS-CoV-2 before.

Prof Sharon Peacock, chief of the UK’s genetic surveillance program has predicted that the mutation found in Kent will “sweep the world.”

South Africa variant

The National Institute of Hygiene and Epidemiology (NIHE) on January 30 said that Vietnam’s scientists detected the Covid strain in and 25-year-old South African expert who entered Vietnam on December 19, 2020.

The man, who departed South Africa and took transit in Doha, Qatar, was tested positive for SARS-CoV-2 on December 23, 2020. He is under treatment at the National Hospital for Tropical Diseases in Hanoi.

First identified in Nelson Mandela Bay, South Africa, in samples dating back to the beginning of October 2020, the South Africa virus variant has spread to more than 30 countries, according to the World Health Organization (WHO).

Early trial data shows Novavax and Johnson & Johnson vaccines have much less efficacy against the new variant, The Guardian has reported.

 Suspending international flights is among Vietnam's tough measures against the pandemic. Photo: Viet Linh

Rwanda variant

On February 12, Vietnam declared the detection of a coronavirus variant called the “A lineage” and referred to as A.23.1 that was firstly found in Rwanda in October 2020.

The result was affirmed by the National Hospital for Tropical Diseases, Ho Chi Minh City and the Oxford University Clinical Research Unit (OUCRU).

The variant in Vietnam was identified in some Covid-19 patients who works for Vietnam Airport Ground Services Co., Ltd (VIAGS) located in Tan Son Nhat International Airport in Ho Chi Minh City.

Regarding to this variant, the Global Initiative on Sharing Avian Flu Data (GISAID) said A.23.1 was “of potential biological concern.” The likely impact of its mutations are not yet clear, however.

A.23.1 variants have been detected in other countries including Rwanda, Uganda, the UK, Canada, and Cambodia, according to GISAID.

G variant

G came to researchers’ attention in April 2020, the US National Institute of Allergy and Infectious Diseases (NIAID).

The variant was found mostly in the Europe but it was seen in the increasing number of patients in Asia from March 2020.

The World Health Organization (WHO) said in December 2020 that over a period of several months, the D614G mutation replaced the initial SARS-CoV-2 strain identified in China and by June 2020 became the dominant form of the virus circulating globally.

According to Bette Korber, a theoretical biologist at Los Alamos National Laboratory, the D614G variant first came to our attention in early April “All over the world, even when local epidemics had many cases of the original form circulating, soon after the D614G variant was introduced into a region it became the prevalent form

On February 13, Vietnam recorded 49 additional infections, including 47 cases in the northern coronavirus hotspot Hai Duong, the place where the first case of the fresh wave was found in late January.

The newly-infected cases have lifted the caseload to 2,195, including 664 active cases who are treated in 18 clinics nationwide.