Six returnees found with Indian virus variant: IEDCR

  • Senior Correspondent,
    Published: 2021-05-17 13:35:47 BdST

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Six Bangladeshis, who returned home from India, have been found to be infected with the Indian variant of the coronavirus.

One of the victims has died, according to the Institute of Epidemiology, Disease Control and Research. The man was also suffering from cancer and other ailments.

The IEDCR said on Sunday the samples of 26 India returnees were tested in April and six people were found to carry the B.1.617.2 variant, one of the three forms detected in India, with each having a slightly different genetic makeup.

The new virus variant has so far spread to 44 countries around the world. The World Health Organization classified it as a variant of “global concern”.

The virus infections in India have reached alarming proportions in recent times. The country on Monday reported 281,386 new infections over the last 24 hours, while deaths rose by 4,106. Its total caseload is 24.97 million with the death toll at 274,390, according to the health ministry data.

The Bangladeshis identified with the Indian variant had visited Chennai, Bengaluru, Haryana and West Bengal in India between Apr 1-25 for treatment, according to the IEDCR.

Three of the six are members of the same family. All of them are between 7-75 years of age. They all arrived in Bangladesh in the last week of April.

Since the onset of coronavirus infection in the country last year, IEDCR has jointly sequenced about 200 samples with ICDDR,B.

Bangladesh has so far detected the UK, South Africa, Nigeria and India variants of the coronavirus.

The first case of the Indian variant was identified on May 8, according to the health department.