The deadly coronavirus variant, which is ravaging neighbouring India, has been reportedly found in two patients of Dhaka North City Corporation’s dedicated Covid-19 hospital in the capital.
Brigadier General AKM Nasir, director of the hospital, confirmed the matter to the media on Friday.
“We have spotted Indian variant in two patients, who recently returned from India. Their samples have been sent to the National Institute of Diseases of the Chest and Hospital (NIDCH) for testing,” he said.
The India returnees are kept under strict surveillance, he said.
On 8 May, another six people were diagnosed with the deadly Indian variant of Covid-19 in Jashore, the Directorate General of Health Services said. They all returned home from the neighbouring country recently.
According to the health authorities, the Indian Covid variant is highly contagious. The infected persons may already have infected those who came in contact with them. If the pandemic guidelines are not followed, the variant can spread among the masses.
Though the Bangladesh government closed the border with India for 14 days, starting 26 April amid virus surge, many Bangladeshis were allowed to enter the country, subject to having a Covid-19 negative certificate. They were put in mandatory quarantine. Later on 8 May, the government extended the border closure for another 14 days.
Coronavirus infections soared in India in a “tsunami” of disease, setting a new world record for cases over the past few weeks.
India’s second wave has hit the country with such ferocity that hospitals are running out of oxygen, beds, and antiviral drugs. Many patients are being turned away due to lack of space for them.