• Tuesday, Jun 22, 2021
  • Last Update : 10:12 pm

Experts: Indian variant, gatherings could spark third wave in June

  • Published at 11:30 pm May 9th, 2021
Covid-19 virus coronavirus
Bigstock

National advisory panel urges government to control mass gatherings during Eid rush

Leading public health experts and virologists have warned that Bangladesh is likely to experience a third wave of Covid-19 outbreak at the beginning of June.

Virologist Prof Nazrul Islam, a member of the National Technical Advisory Committee on Covid-19, told Dhaka Tribune that he was not optimistic about Bangladesh’s chances of avoiding another surge in Covid-19 cases for two reasons.

“Firstly, the Indian variant has already been detected in the country at a time when the mad rush on the ferries, transports and shopping malls means social distancing is not maintained,” said Dr Nazrul, also the former vice-chancellor of Bangabandhu Sheikh Mujib Medical University.

“Secondly, the vaccine rollout is not satisfactory in the country due to a shortage of doses,” he added.

Homebound people continue to crowd at Shimulia ghat in Munshiganj for the third day in a row
on Sunday, May 9, 2021 | Mahmud Hossain Opu/Dhaka Tribune 

Earlier, the advisory commitee delivered their forecast of the Covid-19 situation, considering the Indian variants, to the government. “In a letter to the government last week, we suggested that the homebound journey be controlled at any cost,” said Prof Nazrul Islam.

Dr Tarek Hussain, a public health expert at the Asian Development Bank, said: “The rate at which the Indian variants spread is 42% higher than other variants. Uncontrolled mass gatherings at ferry terminals and shopping malls at this time will be the cause of the third wave in the country.

“If the gatherings continue till Eid-ul-Fitr, the impact will be visible two weeks later [at the beginning of June].”


Also Read - Eid exodus continues despite curbs


As of May 7, a total 3.4 million people (about 2% of the country's population) received both doses of the Covid-19 vaccine. Less than 5.82 million people (3.6% of the population) have received the first dose.

According to the World Health Organization, a country needs to vaccinate about 70% of its population for a chance of herd immunity.

“As we do not have the ideal vaccination coverage, we should prepare the hospitals again by ensuring smooth supply of oxygen to the ICUs to tackle the third wave,” said Dr Tarek.

The Health Ministry has also projected a fresh surge if people continued to be indifferent to health rules.


Also Read - PM: What's wrong with spending one Eid away from home?


On Sunday, local administrations shut ferry services completely, with even services for ambulances suspended in the daytime. Emergency service vehicles have been requested to use alternative means to cross the rivers.

“The chances of mutation increases due to the presence of more variants and the gatherings. It is essential to control mass gatherings to avoid a new surge,” said Dr Mohammad Mushtuq Husain, adviser at the Institute of Epidemiology, Disease Control and Research.

“India is suffering because of mass gatherings through political rallies and violence,” he added.

439
Facebook 415
blogger sharing button blogger
buffer sharing button buffer
diaspora sharing button diaspora
digg sharing button digg
douban sharing button douban
email sharing button email
evernote sharing button evernote
flipboard sharing button flipboard
pocket sharing button getpocket
github sharing button github
gmail sharing button gmail
googlebookmarks sharing button googlebookmarks
hackernews sharing button hackernews
instapaper sharing button instapaper
line sharing button line
linkedin sharing button linkedin
livejournal sharing button livejournal
mailru sharing button mailru
medium sharing button medium
meneame sharing button meneame
messenger sharing button messenger
odnoklassniki sharing button odnoklassniki
pinterest sharing button pinterest
print sharing button print
qzone sharing button qzone
reddit sharing button reddit
refind sharing button refind
renren sharing button renren
skype sharing button skype
snapchat sharing button snapchat
surfingbird sharing button surfingbird
telegram sharing button telegram
tumblr sharing button tumblr
twitter sharing button twitter
vk sharing button vk
wechat sharing button wechat
weibo sharing button weibo
whatsapp sharing button whatsapp
wordpress sharing button wordpress
xing sharing button xing
yahoomail sharing button yahoomail