A study has found the omicron variant of the coronavirus has replaced delta as the dominant strain in Dhaka, with the more infectious BA.2 subvariant afflicting most of the patients.
The researchers found 92 percent of the recent COVID-19 patients in Dhaka were infected with omicron, according to a statement from the International Centre for Diarrhoeal Disease Research, Bangladesh.
The icddr,b study also found 86 percent of the omicron cases were caused by BA.2, a more infectious subvariant of omicron. The rest were infected with BA.1 lineage.
The researchers sequenced samples collected from 24 patients between Jan 15 and 28 at the icddr,b Virology Laboratory.
Omicron was detected in 22 samples, and the remaining two were delta.
The researchers said they observed the “complete replacement” of delta by omicron during the last week of January.
The study backs the findings in two other recent reports that said omicron is dominant in Bangladesh now, causing more than 80 percent of the recent COVID-19 cases.
The Institute of Epidemiology, Disease Control and Research, or IEDCR, conducted the research across the country while Bangabandhu Sheikh Mujib Medical University, or BSMMU, took samples from hospitalised patients. They revealed the findings last week.
The IEDCR researchers sequenced genome of 148 samples and found omicron in 118, or 80 percent, of the patients. The rest of the cases were of the delta variant.
The BSMMU research was based on genome sequencing of 937 COVID-19 samples from patients taken in the past month. Its Vice-Chancellor Dr Md Sharfuddin Ahmed said on Thursday omicron was found in 88 percent of the cases.