Bangladesh confirms presence of JN.1 variant of Covid-19

Health |  IANS  | Published :

Dhaka, Jan 19 (IANS) The Bangladeshi government has confirmed the presence of a new coronavirus subvariant JN.1 in the South Asian country.

"The JN.1 strain was found in five Covid-19 patients who don't have any travel history," Tahmina Shireen, Director of the Institute of Epidemiology, Disease Control and Research (IEDCR), told journalists on Thursday.

She further said this is the first time that the presence of the JN.1 strain was confirmed in Bangladesh, Xinhua news agency reported.

Against this backdrop, Bangladesh's Directorate General of Health Services (DGHS) under the Ministry of Health issued a notice on Thursday, directing the authorities to resume the Covid-19 vaccination programme for first, second and booster (third and fourth) doses.

The Bangladeshi government has planned to administer 250 million doses of the Covid-19 vaccine by next year, a senior official said here on Tuesday.

Jahangir Alam, Secretary of Bangladesh's Health Services Division, told journalists that half of these vaccine shots will be administered as a fourth dose this year, and the rest will be administered in 2025.

According to the official, the fresh vaccination drive will prioritise frontline workers and individuals with health vulnerabilities in the wake of concerns over the emergence of the JN.1 variant of Covid-19.

Last month, the World Health Organisation classified the JN.1 strain as a separate variant of interest, citing the strain's rapidly increasing spread around the globe.

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