Hanoi (Vietnam) | Jagran News Desk: Health authorities in Vietnam identified a new coronavirus variant, which has been reported to be the combination of COVID-19 variants which were first identified in the UK and India. Vietnamese health authorities informed the media on Saturday that the newly identified COVID-19 variant spreads quickly by air.

The Southeast Asian nation was hailed worldwide for containing the spread of the virus last year. However, of late, Vietnam is grappling with a surge in COVID-19 cases. The country so far has reported a total of 6,856 COVID-19 cases and 47 deaths.

"Vietnam has uncovered a new COVID-19 variant combining characteristics of the two existing variants first found in India and the UK," Health Minister Nguyen Thanh Long said, describing it as a hybrid of the two known variants.

‘Strain spreads quickly and strongly’

The Vietnamese Health minister while explaining the characteristics of the newly found virus variant said that the strain spreads ‘quickly’ in the air.

"The concentration of virus in the throat fluid increases rapidly and spreads very strongly to the surrounding environment," Health Minister Nguyen Thanh Long added.

Number of cases due to newly identified variant not announced

The Vietnamese authorities did not specify the number of cases recorded with this new variant but announced that they will soon announce the discovery in the world's map of genetic strains.

Vaccines effective against new variants

Research with samplings from the UK and parts of Europe suggests that the vaccines widely in use throughout the world – Pfizer and AstraZeneca (produced as Covishield in India by Serum Institute of India) – are effective against the newly emerged COVID-19 variants. The same research suggests the increased infectivity due to just-emerged variants but the precautions to be taken stay the same as with the original version of the virus. The risk continues to remain the highest for people who are elderly or have underlying health conditions.

Posted By: Mukul Sharma