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5 more Omicron cases detected in Bangladesh

The cases of Omicron variant of Covid-19 have jumped to 69 in Bangladesh, with five more infections detected till Sunday, according to GISAID, a primary source that provides open access to genomic data of Coronavirus.

The latest cases were detected at the virology lab of the Dhaka-based international health research institute icddr,b.

On January 20, nine more cases were found to be Omicron positive, pushing the tally of the new Coronavirus variant, through highly time-consuming and scarcely available genomic sequencing, to 64.

Scientists can confirm if a case is positive with Omicron or Delta by looking closely at the genetic material provided through testing.

Bangladesh reported its first two Omicron cases on December 11 last year in two members of the Bangladesh women’s cricket team that had been forced to return early from the ICC Women’s World Cup qualifiers in Zimbabwe, deep in southern Africa, where the most transmissible variant of SARS-CoV-2 till now is believed to have originated.

Doctors in South Africa, the continent’s most developed country, were the first to alert the world of this new variant.

Omicron is gradually replacing Delta through community transmission in Bangladesh, the Directorate General of Health Services (DGHS) said Sunday.

The variant is spreading at the community level, and its symptoms have similarities with that of seasonal flu, DGHS spokesperson Dr Md Nazmul Islam said.