Delta variant found in 98pc Covid samples
The highly contagious Delta variant has been found in 98 percent of the Covid-19 samples tested by BSMMU as part of a survey.
A total of 300 samples were collected between June 29 to July 30 and genome sequencing was conducted on them to know which variant was responsible for the infection.
M Sharfuddin Ahmed, vice-chancellor of Bangabandhu Sheikh Mujib Medical University and also the supervisor of the genome sequencing research project of the institution, revealed the findings of the survey at a programme yesterday.
The research programme was aimed at unveiling the character of the genome and types of mutation and discovering the inter-relations with the global Covid-19 genome as well as preparing a database of the Covid-19 genome in Bangladesh.
The Delta variant was first detected in India in October last year.
Fifty-three percent of the samples analysed in the study were from male patients. The study included samples from people aged between nine months and 90 years.
"No age group is immune to coronavirus infection. It cannot be said that children have no risk of coronavirus infection," Sharfuddin said.
He said the study findings are from the first month of BSMMU's research and updates will be revealed in the months to follow.
The study found that people with comorbidities like cancer, respiratory problems, diabetes and those aged over 60 face high risk of mortality if infected for the second time.
According to the study, the Alpha variant, first found in the UK, dominated the country in December 2020, before the South African Beta variant dominated in March 2021 but now most people are being infected with the Delta variant.
The research team also found the existence of the Nigerian variant in one sample.
The Delta variant was first detected in the country on May 8. It is far more transmissible than the virus's previous strains. The World Health Organisation has termed it a "variant of concern".