Eighty per cent of the total Covid-19 patients in the country were infected with Delta variant while 20 per cent with Omicron during December 8, 2021-January 8, 2022, says a study.
Supervisor of the Genome Sequencing Research Project Professor Dr Md Sharfuddin Ahmed, Vice Chancellor of Bangabandhu Sheikh Mujib Medical University (BSMMU), on Tuesday revealed the findings of an ongoing survey at a press briefing.
The survey is being conducted by a BSMMU team, led by Dr Laila Anjuman Banu, a professor of Genetics and Molecular Biology and chair of the Department of Anatomy, collecting samples of patients across the country from June 29, 2021 to January 8, this year, he said.
“From the data found, we fear a multiplied surge in the number of Omicron cases in the country in the current month,“ said Dr Sharfuddin.
Nasopharyngeal samples of total 769 patients as representative samples from each division of the country were collected for genome sequencing during the period.
“Some of the Omicron infected patients received two doses of vaccines while a few of them re-infected for the third time with the Delta variant,” the professor added.
Hospitalised patients were not found infected with Omicorn and it might be due to mild symptoms of Omicorn infected patients, he said.
Dr Sharfuddin went on saying, “As patients with mild symptoms are less likely to get them tested for Covid-19, we think there are more Omicron patients in the country who have remained undetected till now.”
From July to December’s first week in 2021, 99.31 per cent patients tested positive with Delta variant while one each sample was of Alpha or UK variant, Beta or South African variant and 20 B variant, according to the genome sequencing data.
According to the survey findings, most of the patients were aged between 21 to 58 years, and children were also infected with Covid-19, revealing that they are not immune to Covid infections.
The mortality rate was found high among the Covid-19 patients with comorbidities like cancer, respiratory disease, heart disease and diabetes. Patients aged above 60 are more likely to die if contracted with the virus for the second time, the study shows.
The results revealed today were from the findings of six months and 15 days.
The ongoing research of the BSMMU team aims to create a Covid-19 genome database of Bangladesh, revealing its characteristics, mutation types and its interrelation with the global Covid-19 genome data.
Prof Sharfuddin Ahmed said they are hopeful of updating the results of the coming weeks soon.