Vietnam has detected a “very dangerous” hybrid of the Indian and British strains of the coronavirus, which spreads rapidly through the air, the country’s health minister said. The World Health Organisation has not yet confirmed the characteristics of the variant and is working with the Vietnamese authorities to do so.
Beginning today, Ho Chi Minh City, where nine million of the country’s 97 million people live, will be put under social distancing rules. Tourist and religious sites, as well as businesses such as restaurants, beauty salons and massage parlours, have been told to close.
Until recently the country appeared to have headed off the worst of the pandemic but a cluster at a Protestant church infected 85 worshippers.
“Vietnam has uncovered a new variant combining