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WHO rules out new 'hybrid' Covid variant in Vietnam

  • Published at 03:06 pm June 3rd, 2021
Vietnam: Da Nang city coronavirus
File Photo: Healthcare workers move a patient from an ambulance to the Gia Dinh hospital amid of spread of the coronavirus disease (Covid-19) in Da Nang city, Vietnam August 4, 2020 Reuters

'There is no new hybrid variant in Vietnam at this moment based on WHO definition’ says Kidong Park, the WHO's representative in Vietnam

A coronavirus variant which Vietnam authorities thought was a combination of the Indian and UK strains is not a new hybrid but part of the existing Indian strain, the World Health Organization's (WHO) representative in Vietnam told Nikkei.

"There is no new hybrid variant in Vietnam at this moment based on WHO definition," Kidong Park said in an online interview with the newspaper, adding that it was within the delta variation that originated in India. 

On Saturday, the health minister of Vietnam said they have detected a new coronavirus variant that is a combination of the Indian and UK Covid-19 variants and spreads quickly by air.

After successfully containing the virus for most of last year, Vietnam is grappling with a spike in infections since late April that accounts for more than half of the total 7,912 registered cases. So far, there have been 49 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 in a statement.