Omicron subvariant JN.1 detected in Bangladesh, health authorities urge caution

The IEDCR confirmed five cases of the subvariant between December and January, all of which were contracted locally

Senior Correspondentbdnews24.com
Published : 18 Jan 2024, 02:46 PM
Updated : 18 Jan 2024, 02:46 PM

The omicron coronavirus subvariant JN.1 has been detected in Bangladesh, but health authorities are urging people not to panic.

The Institute of Epidemiology Disease Control And Research, or IEDCR, confirmed five cases of the JN.1 subvariant between December and January, all of which were contracted locally.

Prof Tahmina Shirin, the organisation’s director, told bdnews24.com that the symptoms resemble those of a common cold.

While there is no need for excessive concern, she advised caution, especially for the elderly and those with long-term and complex health issues.

In December 2023, a new strain of the omicron variant JN.1, started spreading in many countries, including India, China, and the United States.

The WHO classified the JN.1 coronavirus strain as a "variant of interest" and said current evidence shows the risk to public health was low.

In Bangladesh, the number of COVID-19 cases has been on the rise in recent days.

As a precautionary measure, the Directorate General of Health Services recommends that hospitals, medical centres, and individuals at high risk of the disease wear masks and consider receiving the fourth dose of the COVID-19 vaccine, especially given the rising prevalence of the JN.1 variant globally.

The first case of COVID-19 in Bangladesh was reported on Mar 8, 2020.

As of Thursday, a total of 2,046,689 COVID-19 cases have been identified in the country, with 29,479 reported deaths.

In the last 24 hours, 18 new COVID-19 cases have been identified after testing 366 samples across the country, resulting in a detection rate of 4.92 percent.