About 69% of the newly detected Covid-19 patients in the country are infected by the Omicron variant of the virus, Health Minister Zahid Maleque said.
The discovery was made after testing samples from new coronavirus patients in Dhaka, Maleque told the media at the Secretariat on Monday (17 January).
"The samples tested in Dhaka, the genome sequencing, showed that the rate of omicron infection has now risen to 69%. Which was 13% before. We have received this information (by looking into) the data from last 10 days," he said.
Expressing his concern over the growing number of cases, the minister also noted the infection rate outside of Dhaka might be the same.
"Cases of hospitalisations is also increasing. As it is growing now, there will be no place in hospitals in the next one-and-a-half months. Then it will be difficult to provide treatment. For this reason, I am urging everyone to abide by health regulations. Maintains social distance," he said.
"We are somewhat concerned and worried. In the past 15 days, the positivity rate has soared to 18%. If it keeps going like this, it won't take long before the positivity rate crosses 30%," he said.
The first official cases of the Omicron variant in Bangladesh were recorded on 11 December after two women cricketers returning from a tournament in Zimbabwe tested positive.