10 May, 2021 12:00 AM printer

The most deadly and highly contagious Indian coronavirus variant has been found in Bangladesh. This news started the alarm bells ringing amongst the better informed public who follow the news of the virus. We came to know on May 7, that the dangerous Indian variant was detected in swab samples collected on April 28 and 29 from two patients who had returned from India. More than a week had elapsed after the swab collection before the disclosure was made public. One wonders at the delay of information dissemination to the public by the health department at a time when Covid-19 is moving at lightning speed across borders around the world.

As the Indian variant is termed as “highly contagious”, we do not know how many others have already been infected by the two patients since their entry into Bangladesh. Moreover, we have received information only of these two carriers of the Indian variant, what about hundreds of others who have arrived from India before and since; how many of them have been screened for the virus is yet unknown.

We have all the reasons to be highly alarmed as Indian variant of the virus has been detected. Those of us who were feeling smug at being vaccinated, better rethink our false sense of security. It is assumed that the Indian variant may be stronger and may be able to escape the protection given by the Covishield vaccine. Therefore, all of us – whether vaccinated or not - better be well-armed against this deadly unseen enemy with our masks and frequent hand washing as well as social distancing.

Each one of us must act responsibly to prevent the deadly Indian variant from spreading in our country. Health safety measures for all of us is once again getting back to the basics of wearing masks outside the home and washing hands frequently.