Vietnam COVID-19 Updates (Feb 13): 2 new cases, new variant found in Tan Son Nhat airport
|Two medics collect information on health declaration from local residents in Hanoi. (Photo: VnExpress)|
Vietnam adds two more cases to Covid-19 domestic tally
The Health Ministry announced two more community infections related to the outgoing outbreak on the first day of the Lunar New Year. The new patients are a 33-year-old woman in Hanoi and a 25-year-old man in the northern province of Bac Ninh. Both of them are F1 of previously confirmed patients of the ongoing outbreak, and had already been isolated since last month in line with the contact tracing protocol.
No new cases of COVID-19 were recorded in Vietnam in the past 12 hours to 6 am on February 13, according to the National Steering Committee for COVID-19 Prevention and Control.
Of the total cases, 1,248 were locally transmitted, including 555 linked to the latest outbreak since January 27. As many as 129,098 people who had close contact with COVID-19 patients or entered Vietnam from pandemic-hit regions are being quarantined across the country. According to the Committee’s Treatment Sub-Committee, the total number of recoveries is 1,531. Among patients under treatment, 39 have tested negative for SARS-CoV-2 once, 12 twice and nine thrice.
|Taking samples of staff at Tan Son Nhat International Airport in Ho Chi Minh City for COVID-19 testing (Photo: VNA)|
SARS-CoV-2 variant found at Tan Son Nhat airport appears for first time in Southeast Asia: Scientists
The SARS-CoV-2 variant found in patients at the Tan Son Nhat International Airport in Ho Chi Minh City is A.23.1, which was first found in the African country of Rwanda in late October 2020, according to a report by the Hospital of Tropical Diseases on genetic analysis of the virus. Scientists said it is highly likely that the patients, who were confirmed on February 8, caught the virus from one source.
Besides Rwanda, the variant has been found in a few other countries, including the US, the United Arab Emirates, Australia, and some countries in Europe such as the UK and Denmark. However, no abnormal developments have been reported in those countries.
The scientists also confirmed that the SARS-CoV-2 variant found in the patients at Tan Son Nhat International Airport is not the one found in the UK with high infection speed or the one detected in South Africa.
|Dose of the Oxford University/AstraZeneca Covid-19 vaccine is displayed at the Princess Royal Hospital in Haywards Heath, West Sussex, Britain, January 2, 2021. (Photo: Gareth Fuller)|
Vietnam should sticks with AstraZeneca vaccine despite South Africa variant, said experts
Vietnam can pursue its AstraZeneca vaccine deployment plan despite its reduced potency against the South African variant of the novel coronavirus, experts say. They argue that the South African variant is rare in Vietnam, with just one imported case detected to date, and the vaccine is effective against the Wuhan strain and the U.K. variant that is found in greater numbers in the country.
The Covid-19 vaccine in question was developed by British-Swedish company AstraZeneca in collaboration with Oxford University. Britain approved the vaccine for emergency use in December 2020.
Professor Adrian Esterman, University of South Australia, Australia, told VnExpress International said: "If, at the moment, either the original Wuhan virus is dominant in Vietnam, or it's the U.K. variant, the AstraZeneca vaccine could still be very effective." "If, at the moment, either the original Wuhan virus is dominant in Vietnam, or it's the U.K. variant, the AstraZeneca vaccine could still be very effective," Vietnam should also note that clinical trials of the Johnson and Johnson single shot Janssen Covid-19 Vaccine have shown it can be more effective in preventing the spread of the South African variant.
On February 1, AstraZeneca PLC signed a deal to supply Vietnam with 30 million doses in the first half of this year for domestic inoculation. In the same period, Vietnam would also receive around 4.886 million doses of AstraZeneca’s vaccine via the Covax program.
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