• Wednesday, Oct 20, 2021
  • Last Update : 01:19 pm

Bangladesh confirms 23 cases of Indian Covid variant so far

  • Published at 03:36 pm May 30th, 2021
Jessore Antigen test Covid
File photo: A man undergoes antigen-based rapid testing to confirm Covid-19 infection. The photo was taken at Jessore General Hospital on Saturday, December 5, 2020 Dhaka Tribune

Health authorities say the infection rate is up in districts that share borders with or are close to India

The fast-spreading and deadlier Indian variant of Covid-19 has been spotted in the samples of three more people in Bangladesh, taking the total of such cases to 23.

Prof Dr Tahmina Shirin, the director of the Institute of Epidemiology, Disease Control and Research (IEDCR), shared the update Sunday afternoon during a health bulletin of the health directorate.

A day ago, she had said that the country identified 20 Indian variant cases till Saturday.

Dr Shirin said some 263 genome sequencings have been done so far. Among them, they have identified the UK variant in 27 samples, the South African variant in 85 samples, and the Nigerian variant in five samples.

“We have identified the Indian variant -- B.1.617 -- in 27 samples. They either visited India recently or came into contact with someone who visited the neighbouring country,” she said.

The IEDCR director, however, said that identifying the variant was not a matter of worrying. “In future, more new variants will emerge. It's natural. What people have to do is follow the health safety rules properly,” she added.

She also urged all to be careful handling mangoes coming from Chapainawabganj district, which has seen a sudden surge in Covid-19 cases.

Over the past week or so, Chapainawabganj has turned into a hotspot of Covid-19, leading to a strict lockdown that will be in place till Monday.

There are also restrictions on public gathering and movement in place around the country which will end on June 6.

Bangladesh is experiencing rising Covid-19 fatalities, with 38 more deaths recorded between Friday and Saturday mornings. The daily deaths have been increasing since last Wednesday.

Health authorities say the Covid-19 infection rate is showing a notable upward trend in districts that share borders with or are close to India.

Besides Chapainawabganj, 14 other border districts with higher infection rates include Chuadanga, Naogaon, Rajshahi and Jessore.

These districts are major sources of services by day labourers in different cities, who returned home during the Eid holidays and might have contributed to the upward trend.

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