Report: WHO says there is currently no 'hybrid' variant in Vietnam

A health worker takes a sample from a resident of Ha Tinh City after two people were found to test positive for Covid-19. - Vietnam News/ANN

HANOI, June 6 (Vietnam News/ANN): Days after Vietnam's Ministry of Health said it had detected a new Covid-19 variant comprising characteristics of both the alpha and delta strains, the World Health Organisation (WHO) told a Japanese newspaper there is currently no hybrid variant in Vietnam.

"There is no new hybrid variant in Vietnam at this moment based on WHO definition," Dr Kidong Park told Nikkei Asia in an online interview published on Thursday.

Instead, Park stressed the newly detected variant is in fact the delta variant that was first detected in India, but with additional mutations that require more observation before determining whether or not it represents a particular threat.

Vietnam has been praised for its response to the pandemic, yet, after a month without any community transmission of the virus, local transmission cases emerged again on April 27, with more than 4,500 cases reported since then.

Authorities in Ho Chi Minh City imposed a two-week period of social distancing on Monday amid a steep rise in community transmission of the coronavirus, while strict measures have been enforced in northern provinces that have seen hundreds of cases in industrial parks.

In an interview with dpa, Park said suppressing transmission as quickly as possible and offering vaccinations remains critical to reducing the risk of worsening outbreaks.

"Even though Vietnam did an excellent job in controlling the outbreak last year, Covid-19 remains a threat to the country," Park said.

"The pandemic will not be over anywhere until it is over everywhere."

Vietnam has officially recorded 8,747 coronavirus cases as of Sunday (June 4) and 53 deaths since the pandemic began. - dpa
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