Dhaka has reported scores of Covid-19 cases traced to the BA.5 Omicron sub-variant, which appears to be more infectious than the past variants of the novel coronavirus, extending the current Covid surge, reports news agency UNB.

International Centre for Diarrhoeal Disease Research, Bangladesh (icddr,b) on Tuesday said about the rapid spread of BA.5 Omicron sub-variant cases.

During the last six weeks (14 May to 24 June), this sub-variant became the most dominant variant. During this period, 51 out of 52 Covid cases were identified as BA.5 sub-variant and one BA.2 by using complete genome sequencing, according to icddr,b.

SARS-CoV-2 variants are outcompeted one by another over time, which underscores the continuation of variant surveillance for a regular update on the emergence of new variants, states the icddr,b report.

A study, conducted on 40 Omicron BA.5 infected patients, found that 38 patients had received at least one dose vaccine. Among them, 16 had received booster doses of vaccines, 21 had two doses, and one had received only one dose.

Besides, 39 patients had mild to moderate symptoms, and one had no symptoms. And only one was hospitalised for a day which means the severity of this sub-variant is low.

The researchers also urged everyone to practice all precautions to keep safe from Covid-19 as well as to get vaccinated against the virus who are not vaccinated as yet.

The first suspected Omicron sub-variant BA.5 in Dhaka was detected on 19 May. The Omicron variant in Bangladesh was first identified on 6 December last year.

Meanwhile, Bangladesh registered seven more Covid-linked deaths with 1,998 cases in 24 hours till Tuesday morning amid rapid surge in new infections.

The fresh numbers took the country’s total caseload to 19,82,972 and the total fatalities to 29,182, according to the Directorate General of Health Services (DGHS).

The daily case positivity rate rose to 16.74 per cent from Monday’s 16.51 per cent as 11,882 samples were tested during the period, said the DGHS.