Vietnam on Saturday said it had detected a new Coronavirus, COVID-19, variant comprising characteristics from both the British and Indian strains of the virus, state media reported.
Nguyen Thanh Long, Vietnam’s minister of health, said the new hybrid variant was detected through genetic sequencing on COVID-19 patients in Vietnam, according to local newspaper VnExpress.
Both the British and Indian variants of the virus are said to be more transmissible than other strains, which may explain in part why Vietnam is reporting record coronavirus cases.
Vietnam has been praised for its response to the pandemic, yet after a month without any community transmissions of the virus, local transmission cases emerged again on April 27, and on May 15, Vietnam recorded its first COVID-19 death in eight months.
The new cases was linked to a 27-year-old man who returned to Vietnam from Japan on April 7, and a Chinese expert entering the country for work, both of whom tested positive after completing their mandatory two-week quarantine.
Vietnam has officially recorded 6,396 Coronavirus cases, including 1,492 imported cases and 47 deaths since the pandemic began.
Over 3,000 of those reported cases have been confirmed in since April 27.