The latest wave of coronavirus in Vietnam has been confirmed by the ministry of health as being the U.K. variant of the virus, VN Express has reported.
Gene samples from 12 of the latest confirmed 276 patients confirmed it was the U.K. strain, according to Health minister Nguyen Thanh Long.
The U.K. strain is more contagious and has a shorter incubation period, so more people have been affected more quickly than previously, Long said
“The new virus variant can be transmitted through the air and therefore we need to scrupulously follow regulations on wearing a mask. Those who do not comply must be severely punished,” he said
Quang Ninh and Hai Duong provinces were the first places to detect cases in the latest outbreak, on Jan. 28.
The Deputy Prime Minister Vu Duc Dam, also head of the National Steering Committee for Covid-19 Prevention and Control, said the committee and the health ministry had discussed stronger measures to contain the infection with authorities in Hanoi, which has now confirmed 20 cases.
The deputy said: “The city is speeding up efforts to identify affected areas and isolate them. The fight against the pandemic there might take longer than we expected.”
Vietnam has now had 1,856 Covid cases, including 35 deaths.
The virus has infected nearly 104 million people worldwide, killing over 2.35 million.