Vietnam has recorded the appearance of the Omicron BA.5 sub-variant, according to the General Department of Preventive Medicine under the health ministry.
At the health ministry’s press meeting on Monday, Phan Trong Lan, head of the General Department of Preventive Medicine, said that gene sequencing results showed that the BA.5 sub-variant of the Omicron has been found in the country.
Lan said the intrusion was inevitable as a result of the reopening of the economy and the 'new normal' situation of relaxed precautionary protocols.
The BA.5 sub-variant was first detected in South Africa in January.
Since then, it has become a dominant strain in several countries.
The health ministry said it continues to monitor new strains and World Health Organization (WHO) information, adjusting and implementing measures to prevent and control the spread of the coronavirus.
The new strain emerged as Vietnam has recorded 142,000 COVID-19 cases in the past two months, with the BA.2 sub-lineage dominating the new infections, according to Lan.
The number officially registered on the national database has stayed at fewer than 1,000 cases a day in recent times while the death rate fell to 0.06 percent in May from 1.03 percent in January.
The health ministry has said recently that it is still not the right time for Vietnam to consider COVID-19 endemic, given the unpredictability of the virus, the complicated situation in some parts of the world, and concerns about a new wave emerging this summer.
The Southeast Asian nation has concurred with the WHO that vaccines remain an important tool in stopping the pandemic and people should get vaccinated with the proper dose.