New Covid variant: Experts urge govt to prepare in advance

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Reza Mahmud :
New sub variant of the Covid-19 virus, JN.1 is spreading rapidly across the world, while experts said Bangladesh needs to take advance preparations to contain this strongly.

Public health experts said as a tropical country, the covid spreading season in Bangladesh is the summer. Now it is spreading in the western countries rapidly.

They said Bangladesh government needs to keep the new variant in close surveillance.

The experts said if the new sub variant of the Omicron JN.1 already has entered in Bangladesh, the government has to monitor cautiously about its impact.

They also urged all not to be panicked and similarly no to ignore its impact also.

The experts stressed upon taking cautionary measures including revivals of the preventive activities among the people.

When contacted, Professor Dr. M. Muzaherul Huq, former Advisor of the World Health Organisation (WHO) told The New Nation on Saturday, “The government as well the common people have to give importance to the matter. All have to take cautionary measures including wearing facemasks properly, reviving hand washing habit more frequently as like the early days of the covid infections in our country.”

He said before WHO’s directives over the JN.1, Bangladesh government has to start its own study over it to prevent the people from the impact of the sub variant.

When contacted, Public Health Expert Professor Dr. Be-Nazir Adhmed told The New Nation on Saturday, “This sub variant has created anxiety as it is increasing rapidly among the people. But as the infection season in Bangladesh is summer, the government has four to five months for taking preparation to contain the variant.”

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He said the government has to monitor closely about the infection of this new sub variant among the people.

The public health experts said the health department of the government has to keep surveillance over the matter.

“They have to monitor about if the variant infected the people taking the vaccines or not. They also have to conduct study about the severity of patients infected by JN.1 between vaccinated and non-vacinated people,” experts said.

They also suggested finding out that which vaccines are most effective on contain the new sub variant infection.

The World Health Organisation on Sunday urged the countries in Southeast Asia to strengthen surveillance and people in this region to take protective measures as the cases of respiratory diseases, including Covid-19 and its new sub-variant JN.1 related infections, are increasing, said a press release.

WHO classified this covid variant as a ‘variant of interest’, because of ‘its rapidly increasing spread’.

JN.1 has been found in many countries around the world, including India, China, UK and the United States.

The risk to the public is currently low and current vaccines continue to offer protection, the WHO says.

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