A new research in Bangladesh has found 80% Indian variant in the latest genome sequencing of COVID-19 samples with evidence of community transmission.
The government’s disease control and research institute collected and analyzed 50 samples from across the country, including border districts and capital Dhaka, since May 16.
The Institute of Epidemiology, Disease Control and Research (IEDCR) and Institute for Developing Science and Health Initiatives (ideSHi) conducted the genome sequencing and identified “unknown variant”.
The research also found 40 out of the total 50 cases as Delta variant, known as Indian variant. And, among the samples collected, 14 people (35% of the total samples) infected did not visit India or any other country and did not come in contact with people with travel history, the research found.
“Now, we can confirm the community transmission of Indian COVID-19 variant in Bangladesh,” Prof Tahmina Shirin, director of IEDCR, told the Anadolu Agency.
She urged people to follow strict health safety guidelines and called for monitoring in the border districts. The study found infections are rising in border districts with India.
About the unknown variant, she mentioned that it is globally known as an unknown variant and more research is needed on it, Dr Shirin added.
On April 26, the country closed its land borders with India till June 14. However, over 4,000 Bangladeshis returned from India in a month despite the travel ban because of the high infections in India.
The Indian Delta variant was first detected in October last year. The World Health Organization has termed the variant “variant of concern”.
Local administration has started plans to put seven border districts under complete lockdown.
Partial areas of some districts, including Satkhira district, one of the major border districts with India, has been under complete one-week lockdown from Saturday due to a recent surge in infections, according to local administration.
The South Asian country of 165 million people has also extended the nationwide lockdown till June 6. With 30 more deaths, the total virus-related fatalities have reached 12,758 and infections stand at 807,867 with over 1,850 new additions in the past 24 hours, according to the Health Ministry.