The Directorate General of Health Services (DGHS) has warned that Bangladesh may experience another surge in coronavirus infections anytime as the Indian variant of the virus has already made inroads into the country.
"The Indian variant (of coronavirus) has already come to our country. It may start infecting people on a large scale anytime. Therefore, all must wear masks, maintain social distancing and follow other health rules," Dr Md Robed Amin, spokesperson of the DGHS, said while speaking at its health bulletin on Wednesday.He said 3-4 people who returned from India have recently been found infected with the Indian variant in Chapainawabganj and Jashore districts. Mentioning that the authorities are getting news of finding the Indian virus strain -- B.1617.2 -- in a number of patients, Robed Amin said if the health guidelines are not maintained properly, it may spread rapidly.
For the first time in Bangladesh, after returning from India, six people were diagnosed with the deadly Indian variant of the coronavirus in Jashore on May 8 while one of them died.
Eleven more people, who returned home from India on May 5, have tested positive for Covid-19. They are now undergoing treatment at the isolation ward of Satkhira Medical College Hospital.
The DGHS spokesperson claimed that they are keeping hospitals and isolation centres and all other necessary medical equipment ready to face the situation if the 3rd wave of coronavirus hits the country. “There’ll be no crisis of oxygen supply in hospitals,” he added.
He said the rate of both deaths and infections from coronavirus has come down after Eid-ul-Fitr compared to that in April. “It means the ongoing lockdown has succeeded in bringing down the infections. But we have to remain alert.”
About the Covid-19 vaccine, he said, “Time has come to consider whether the mixed vaccine dose can be introduced when we can’t afford the same vaccine (Oxford-AstraZeneca). The National Technical Committee on Vaccines has been asked to give its opinions in this regard.”