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Saturday, June 12, 2021

New Vietnamese covid-19 variant paralyzes the largest city in the Asian country

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Manish Saini
Manish works as a Journalist and writer at Revyuh.com. He has studied Political Science and graduated from Delhi University. He is a Political engineer, fascinated by politics, and traditional businesses. He is also attached to many NGO's in the country and helping poor children to get the basic education. Email: Manish (at) revyuh (dot) com

Vietnam plans to establish mass testing of the 9.5 million inhabitants of its largest city Ho Chi Minh and has tightened restrictions against the coronavirus due to the increase in covid-19 cases. In addition, they have recently detected a new hybrid variant in the Asian country that contains properties of the Indian and British variants, two of the most contagious variants of the virus.

This Monday, the authorities have limited the activity of the inhabitants of Ho Chi Minh City who can only leave the house to carry out “essential activities”, have prohibited public gatherings of more than 10 people, and have established a mandatory social distancing of 2 meters, according to the state newspaper for the next two weeks ‘Vietnam News‘. 

However, this maximum decreases to five or even two people in the areas of the city most affected by the increase in cases over the next two weeks. In addition, since last Thursday the closure of non-essential businesses in the city was already decreed, given the initial increase in cases and the media pointed out that the executive of the Vietnamese city is planning to test its entire population with an analysis capacity of 100,000 samples a day.

Religious acts prohibited

It should be noted that the aforementioned media has explained that at least 145 cases of coronavirus infection are linked to the Revival Ekklesia Mission, a Protestant religious sect, and the district in which the church’s headquarters is located, Go Vap is currently in quarantine. It also explained that the police had filed a complaint on Sunday against the leaders of a Protestant church mission for “spreading dangerous infectious diseases”, due to a lack of anti-covid sanitary protocols established in their premises and their meetings.

According to the media in the Asian country, the followers of the church gathered in a small space to chant without due distancing and without wearing a mask and, the police of Ho Chi Minh city have reported that this mission has 48 registered members. As a consequence of the alleged source of contagion, Vietnam has banned all religious acts throughout the country.

What is the Vietnamese variant like?

The Vietnamese authorities have confirmed this Saturday a new hybrid variant of the coronavirus that combines characteristics of the versions identified in India and the United Kingdom, both highly contagious. The Minister of Health of the Asian country, Nguyen Thanh Long, has confirmed the appearance of this new aspect from the genetic sequencing of several coronavirus patients, according to the local media.

“The Ministry of Health plans to present this new variant of the coronavirus, still unnamed, on the global genome map,” added the minister. This announcement coincides at a time when the country has registered a rebound in contagion cases after a month without notifying local cases of transmission. 

Specifically, since the end of April, the new wave of covid-19 has spread to 31 municipalities and provinces in Vietnam, registering about 4,000 cases, almost double the total number that the country had registered since the beginning of the pandemic.

The new conditions are linked to a 27-year-old young man who arrived from Japan on April 7 and a Chinese expert who was entering the country to work. 

Throughout the pandemic, we have witnessed several genetic mutations since the first coronavirus case initially detected in China at the end of 2019 and this new variant adds to the list. 

In this regard, in order to achieve the desired group immunity, Vietnam has so far vaccinated one million people with AstraZeneca vaccines and has an agreement with Pfizer to supply 30 million doses by the end of this year. 

It is also talking with Moderna, which would allow it to vaccinate 80% of its 96 million inhabitants.

Image Credit: Yen Duong/Bloomberg via Getty Images

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