A team of researchers has identified new variants of Covid-19 in Chattogram division which are similar to the variants found in the United States, Europe, Saudi Arabia, Taiwan, India and Australia.
The researchers' group of Chittagong University, initially, obtained this information by analysing and reviewing 30 genome sequences after collecting Covid-19 samples from 11 districts of the division.
The study found five mutations in the genome sequence of the coronavirus. These five variants have been identified for the first time compared to other sequences in the country.
In addition, a total of 86 nucleotides changed at different places in different genes, but there was no change in amino acids or mutations.
Analysing all the mutations, it has been seen that five mutations have spread widely in Chattogram.
The research was led by Dr Rabiul Hasan Bhuiyan, associate professor and proctor of the Department of Biochemistry and Molecular Biology, Dr Mohammad Omar Farooq Rusel, associate professor of the Department of Botany and Assistant Professors of Microbiology Dr Imranul Haque and Dr HM Abdullah Al Masud.
The entire research work has been completed in the lab of the Central Faculty of Biology and Department of Biochemistry and Molecular Biology, Chittagong University.
Dr Rabiul Hasan Bhuiyan told The Business Standard, "The research was arranged keeping some questions in mind. One of those is that the virus may have entered the Chattogram division in a possible way and its mutation is known. That's why we started the study in June-July."
"Through this study, we wanted to highlight an overall picture of the coronavirus in the Chattogram division. For this, we have collected samples of Covid-19 positive patients from every upazila / thana of 11 districts. Later, we select a total of 46 samples for genome sequencing based on the quantity and quality of RNA. Among them, the genome sequences of some 33 samples have been uncovered above 99%," he informed.
In this study, the researchers analysed data of 11 districts of Chattogram division separately and found some differences. They are:
The variants identified in the United States, Germany, Italy, the Czech Republic, Saudi Arabia and Taiwan have similarities with the virus in Chattogram district. Noakhali, Laxmipur and Feni districts have the same Covid strain found in the United States, Germany, Australia, India and Japan. Cumilla and Chandpur have similarities with Covid variants like the United States, Germany, the Czech Republic, India and Japan. Brahmanbaria's strains have similarities with the United States, Germany, Saudi Arabia and India. Cox's Bazar, Rangamati and Bandarban have similar Covid strains like the United States, Sierra Leone, Germany, Italy, Taiwan and the Czech Republic.
Recently, Covid variants found in Australia, Saudi Arabia and Taiwan have been noticed in Khagrachhari.
Earlier, experts said that a new variant of the coronavirus that originated in the United Kingdom sometime in September is likely to have already reached Bangladesh.
According to the Bangladesh Council of Scientific and Industrial Research (BCSIR), in early November, BCSIR sequenced the genomes of five samples of coronavirus, which has similarities with the new variant found in the UK.
Panic spread across the globe after the recent new type of coronavirus found across the UK.
Later, a growing number of countries including India have banned flights from the UK to protect their citizens from the new variant of fast-spreading coronavirus. More than 30 countries have halted flights with the UK.