The highly contagious delta variant accounts for 98% of all sequenced Covid-19 infections in the country, says a study of Bangabandhu Sheikh Mujib Medical University (BSMMU).
The disclosure was made in a press release quoting BSMMU Vice-Chancellor Professor Md Sharfuddin Ahmed, also the BSMMU genome sequencing research project supervisor.
The variant, also known as B.1.617.2, has spread fast in the country, wreaking havoc across Bangladesh as it has done across the world.
The rest of the variants found in the collected swab sample sequencing in the country were the South African variant (B.1.351) and the newfound Nigerian variant (B.1.525), said the press release issued yesterday.
Earlier, the Alpha or the UK variant was dominant in December 2020 and Beta or the South African variant extracted the most toll in March 2021.
According to the first-month findings of the BSMMU Covid-19 genome sequencing research, the mortality rate is higher among patients with comorbidities, i.e. diabetes, cancer, respiratory and lung diseases.
Moreover, patients aged 60+ are more likely to fall victim to the deadly virus if they happen to contract the virus for the second time.
Determining the effectiveness of Covid-19 vaccines, however, is still under investigation.
The purpose of the Covid-19 genome sequencing research is to unveil the character of the genome, determining the type of the mutation and finding its correlation with globally dominating variants while creating a genome database.
According to the press release issued by BSMMU, the national database, as well as a global network of Covid-19 database, can be made after analysing the sample sequencing of at least 3,000 patients.
In the first phase of the ongoing research, nasopharyngeal swab samples of 300 Covid-positive patients – aged between nine months to 90 years – across the country were examined by using the Next-Generation sequencing (NGS) technology during the period from 29 June to 30 July.
With a new wave of Covid-19 infections fueled by the Delta variant striking countries worldwide, disease experts are scrambling to learn whether the latest version of coronavirus is making people - mainly the unvaccinated - sicker than before.
The US Centers for Disease Control and Prevention warned that Delta, first identified in India and now dominant worldwide, is "likely more severe" than earlier versions of the virus, according to an internal report made public on Friday.
The agency cited research in Canada, Singapore and Scotland showing that people infected with the Delta variant were more likely to be hospitalized than patients earlier in the pandemic.