Corona situation may turn serious as UK variant rises

Mohammad Al Amin

16 March, 2021 12:00 AM printer

The all-out coronavirus situation may take a serious turn in Bangladesh, health experts have feared, as the UK variant has been detected in the South Asian country in recent months.

However, they are not confirmed yet about the current strain of coronavirus which is spreading fast again in Bangladesh, which has

already launched vaccination against the fatal disease.

If the current strain of the deadly pathogen becomes the UK variant, the corona situation may turn for the worse in Bangladesh, infecting youths and children if people don’t follow health guidelines, they warned.

 “We’ve come to know that the UK variant infects underage people on a large scale. If the variant spreads in our country, the situation may take a serious turn,” Dr Nazrul Islam, a member of the National Technical Advisory Committee on Covid-19, told the Daily Sun.

“If the UK variant exists here, the antibody developed among people against the regular strain of coronavirus won’t work against the new variant,” he said.

He further said if the current strain is the regular one, it may rise a little bit, but won’t turn serious.

Nazrul has suggested that proper quarantine will have to be ensured for all passengers arriving from foreign countries, including the UK, where the new variant has been found.

The virologist has underscored the need for ensuring strong screening at all ports in the country.

According to the Directorate General of Health Services (DGHS), 1,773 new coronavirus patients have been detected and 26 more have died in the last 24 hours till Monday morning.

And the rate of Covid-19 case detection has risen to 9.48 per cent in the country during the period.

On Sunday, the number of daily coronavirus infection case was 1,195 and 18 Covid-19 patients died in the country. The daily infection rate was 7.15 per cent.

Talking to the Daily Sun, Prof Dr Tahmina Shirin, director of the Institute of Epidemiology, Disease Control and Research (IEDCR), said, “We are getting UK variant cases of coronavirus every month since January. We’ve got more than 10 UK variant cases in Bangladesh.”

“We haven’t found any evidence of the spread of the virus strain yet after contact tracing, but if the rising trend of coronavirus infection continues, it will be revealed that the UK variant has spread in the country.”

“We think the corona cases are increasing here due to lack of consciousness,” she said.

Tahmina said the coronavirus infection cases are increasing as people have started violating health guidelines after the start of the vaccination against Covid-19 in the country.

Prof Dr ABM Khurshid Alam, director general of the DGHS, said on said, “Currently, most Covid-19 patients need ICU support. Earlier, we saw that those who have co-morbidity were infected with the virus, but now we see that young and healthy people are also being infected with the deadly pathogen.”

Asked if the new variant of Covid-19 from South Africa and the UK is increasing the virus transmission in Bangladesh, he said the issue is being investigated through genome sequencing.

In September last, a BCSIR report said scientists found that the coronavirus was being mutated rapidly in Bangladesh compared to other countries in the world.

According to international media reports, the highly contagious B.1.1.7 variant was first detected in Britain in September 2020, and then it has been found in more than 100 countries.

Addressing a press conference, Health and Family Welfare Minister Zahid Maleque on Monday said around 400-500 coronavirus patients have increased in hospitals as the number of patients was around 1,800-1,900 in hospitals in the country.

“In this stage, the coronavirus infection cases are increasing again as the percentage of the daily infection rate has crossed 7 per cent already on Sunday and the number of death also has increased, but earlier the infection rate neared 2.5 per cent. We are concerned why the coronavirus case is rising,” he said.

The minister said the coronavirus is rising as health guidelines are highly being ignored as people are neither wearing masks nor maintaining social distance.

 


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