Health ministry recommends travel restrictions over fear of new COVID-19 variant
17:20 | 04/01/2021

VGP – The Ministry of Health has recommended travel restrictions on countries with new COVID-19 variant first seen in the UK.

The recommendation was submitted to the Government for consideration as the new strain was said to be up to 70% more transmissible than others.

As of January 3, 2021, the new variants had spread to 34 countries.

So far, at least 40 countries have temporarily banned incoming travel from the countries where the variant has been reported, with Germany, the Netherlands, and Bulgaria becoming the first countries to close borders with the UK over fears of the new strain.

Viet Nam also detected first COVID-19 case carrying the newly found, highly contagious variant of coronavirus on January 2. 

As of 6:05 pm on Monday, the Southeast Asian country confirmed 1,497 COVID-19 cases, including 1,339 recoveries and 35 fatalities.

The nation is stepping up efforts in vaccine research with four vaccines under development by local producers.

The first homegrown vaccine entered phase one human trials on December 17, 2020 while the second one is expected to be tested on humans in late January.

The country is also in talks with four countries, namely the UK, Russia, the U.S., and China to purchase COVID-19 vaccines, Deputy Minister of Health Truong Quoc Cuong told a room of reporters on Monday.

Among the aforesaid countries, Viet Nam reached an agreement with the UK-based vaccine producer AstraZeneca to guarantee the supply of 30 million doses for 15 million people between the first and the fourth quarter, Cuong added./.

By Kim Anh

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