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DGHS calls for taking measures to tackle new Covid outbreak

DGHS calls for taking measures to tackle new Covid outbreak

The Directorate General of Health Services (DGHS) on Sunday (Dec 25) urged the people to wear masks in crowded places, wash hands frequently and taking booster jabs as the national advisory committee alerted for new Covid-19 variant.

The directive came amid increasing Covid-19 cases in China and India.

"The new sub-variant BF.7 of the Omicron identified in China and India... the new variant already infected a large number of people in China while many people were detected with new variant in India," Additional Director General of DGHS Professor Dr Ahmedul Kabir told reporters during an online press briefing organised by the DGHS.

Prof Abul Bashar Mohammad Khurshid Alam, director general of the DGHS, conducted the briefing.

The new variant is capable of infecting many people within a shorter period. So, taking a booster – especially for those with vulnerability, and wearing masks is a must, he added.

The new subvariant of Omicron is four times higher transmissible and the incubation period is shorter enabling it to infect many people at a time, Kabir added.

"The Institute of Epidemiology, Disease Control and Research has been asked to conduct genome sequencing to detect if the variant is already in the country," he said.

On Saturday night, National Technical Advisory Committee (NTAC) on Covid-19 also held a meeting and urged the government to take precautionary measures.

Speaking at the briefing, Prof Mohammad Shahidullah, president of the NTAC, said, "We have recommended the government to arrange antigen tests at all ports for all suspected incoming people so that they can be isolated."

The committee has also recommended activating all Covid-19 related precautionary measures.

Kabir said they (DGHS) have already instructed all hospitals countrywide to prepare the Covid-19 isolation wards. "The DNCC Covid-19 Hospital has also been kept ready to receive patients."