Vietnam battles new, more contagious Covid-19 strain

PHOTO: Bloomberg

Vietnam’s acting health minister reported 28 new cases of Covid-19 infection yesterday, bringing its total confirmed cases to 670, as well as 2 more deaths from the disease, making the tally 8 deceased Vietnamese. 27 of the new cases were reported in the central city of Da Nang, central Quang Nam province and southern Dong Nai province, among whom 16 cases are reportedly linked to Da Nang Hospital, which is related to several previously confirmed cases.

The other case recently returned to the country from abroad and was quarantined upon arrival.

The health ministry confirmed the 2 new deaths, noting that both cases were aged over 60 with underlying medical conditions. 4 more patients were given all-clear as well yesterday, raising the total recovered cases to 378. Vietnam News Agency reports that there are around 133,300 people being quarantined and monitored in the country since the recent spike emerged around Da Nang in central Vietnam 2 weeks ago.

Vietnam is mobilising resources to contain the virus in Da Nang, as the strain detected in the tourism hub appears more transmissible than previous versions, according to health authorities:

“Results of gene sequencing showed that this is a new strain that entered Vietnam. Mutation has increased susceptibility, leading to high rates of infection. The infection rate is now about 5 to 6 people, compared to the older strains with the rate of 1.8 to 2.2 people.”

(The comments about a ‘new strain’ have not been independently verified or confirmed by the WHO)

The findings have prompted Vietnam to send resources to Da Nang while locking down parts of Hanoi and Ho Chi Minh City.

Vietnam was seen widely hailed as a success story for its containment of the virus, and reported it first cases after nearly 100 days in late July.

SOURCES: Xinhua | Syria News

World News

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