Vietnam has detected a new strain of the coronavirus that combines characteristics of the UK and Indian variants, national Minister of Health Nguyen Thanh Long said on Saturday.
Both UK and Indian variants are believed to be more transmissible than the original coronavirus, but the Indian one is also potentially less susceptible to antibodies developed by the immune system.
The Vietnamese strain is an Indian variant with additional mutations that are the same as those of the UK strain, according to the health minister.
“The Ministry of Health would announce the new coronavirus variant on the global genome map,” Long said, as quoted by the VnExpress news outlet.
According to the minister, the new strain stands behind the recent spike in the number of new coronavirus cases in Vietnam.