Indian coronavirus variant found in COVID-19 cases linked to Hanoi-based hospital hinh anh 1Barriers and police-managed checkpoints were set up around the Kim Chung facility of the National Hospital for Tropical Diseases in Dong Anh district, Hanoi, on May 6 as the hospital was locked down after a dozen COVID-19 infections were found. (Photo: VNA)
Hanoi (VNS/VNA) - Seven COVID-19 patients linked to the Hanoi-based National Hospital for Tropical Diseases’ cluster are infected with the variant of coronavirus first reported in India.

The National Institute of Hygiene and Epidemiology on May 11 announced the results of the genetic sequencing for eight samples taken from COVID-19 patients submitted by four northern provinces – two from Vinh Phuc, two from Bac Ninh, two from Lang Son, and one from Nam Dinh – and the Indian strain showed up in seven.

The variant B1.617, which the World Health Organization (WHO) classified on May10 as a “variant of concern,” has demonstrated higher spreading capabilities among humans, according to some preliminary studies, but further research is still needed to explore the variant's transmissibility, disease severity and whether it could make existing COVID-19 vaccines less effective.

An official from the National Hospital for Tropical Diseases – its second facility in Dong Anh district currently under lockdown – said the origin of its current outbreak could come from the COVID-19 treatment ward, infecting patients in other faculties and patients’ family relatives who came to take care of them from many northern localities.

Earlier this month, the institute’s genome probe also indicated the outbreak related to Sunny Club in Vinh Phuc, which is caused by two visiting Chinese experts who in turn have likely contracted the disease from another group of Indian experts during the time they stay at the same quarantine hotel in Yen Bai province, is of Indian variant.

The other sample from a COVID-19 patient in Hai Duong who has illegally entered Vietnam from Laos showed the B1.1.7 variant which was first reported in the UK./.