Mortality rate higher among people with diabetes, cancer, respiratory, lungs diseases
Some 98% of Bangladesh's Covid-19 patients in July were infected by the highly contagious Delta variant, according to a new study.
The study also found presence of the South African variant and the newfound Nigerian variant in the country but on a negligible scale.
Prof Md Sharfuddin Ahmed, vice-chancellor of Bangabandhu Sheikh Mujib Medical University, disclosed the findings on Thursday while publishing a report on the genome sequencing of Covid-19.
Also the genome sequencing research supervisor, Prof Sharfuddin said the study was conducted on 300 Covid-19 patients infected between June 29 and July 30 by collecting nasopharyngeal swab samples.
The researchers collected 42% samples from Dhaka, 14% from Rangpur, 12% from Chittagong, 11% from Rajshahi, 6% from Mymensingh and Sylhet each, 5% from Barisal and 4% from Khulna.
Among the 300 patients, 53% were men and 47% women, and the patients were aged between nine months and 90 years, but the number of 30-39 years old patients was the highest.
It was found that the mortality rate is higher among those who are suffering from diabetes, cancer, respiratory and lungs diseases. Besides, repeated infection can increase risk of death among patients above 60 years of age.
Researchers said that in January this year most people were infected with the UK/Alpha variant, and by March South African/Beta variant took the lead.
However, according to the last one month’s data, 98% people were infected with the Delta variant (B.1.617.2) and only 1% with the South African variant (B.1.351).
Only one patient has been found infected with the Nigerian variant (B.1.525).
The purpose of the Covid-19 genome sequencing research is to prepare the Bangladeshi Covid-19 genome database and understand the nature of the genome as well as its mutation. BSMMU will continue the sequencing and will update the result every month, Prof Sharfuddin said.
The research will also help find connections between the trend of virus surge in Bangladesh and the rest of the world, he added.
“A few people question that 60% people of Maldives and Bhutan are vaccinated now, then why we couldn’t reach there yet. But if we think rationally, they don’t have a huge population like us. We are a 170-million population and still we are doing much better in comparison to others,” he claimed.
The VC also urged everyone to wear a mask and take vaccine, and requested not to take part in any “anti-vaccine campaign.”