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 experts.
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.
Dr Salim Khan, , the In-charge of the Genomic Research Laboratory at BCSIR, told The Business Standard, "A new type of coronavirus mutation was found in the country in early November. This new mutation comes to our notice while sequencing the genomes of five samples."
The doctor further added, "Internationally, where genome sequencing data is submitted, we have seen similar mutations in Russia and Peru."
BCSIR has already started working on this and is trying to find out the identity and address of the carriers of the virus. BCSIR contacted the National Institute of Laboratory Medicine Referral Center on Wednesday (December 23) to collect samples of the virus, he said.
Salim Khan further said that the type of mutation in the UK and Bangladesh have similarities. For this reason, the characteristics of the virus in the UK are now being matched with our genome sequence.
He also hoped that the matter would be cleared within a few days.
The new variant, VUI–202012/01, which accounted for nearly 60% of all cases in London by mid-December, is thought to be 70% more transmissible than earlier versions of the coronavirus. Scientists are still researching the effects, virulence and severity of the new strain, reports Hindustan Times.
Panic spread across the world after the recent new type of coronavirus found across the UK.
In this situation, the European Union decided to cut off communication with Britain from last Sunday (December 20).
Recently, 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.