From 23 July to 9 September 2022, 38 SARS-CoV-2 complete genomes were sequenced. Genomics data reveals that only Omicron variants were circulating in Dhaka City; 26 Omicron BA.5 and 12 Omicron BA.2. Initially, Omicron BA.5 was the only circulating subvariant, then a major shift was observed from BA.5 to BA.2 during the last 3 weeks (Fig.1). During this period, 2 new subvariants emerged, i.e. BA.2.75 (n=6), and BJ.1 (n=1) from the parent BA.2. This emergence of new subvariants is most likely responsible for the current surge of COVID-19 infection in the country.

22 AUGUST 2022

Influenza virus epidemics impose a serious global public health burden, with up to 650,000 people dying of flu-related causes every year. In Bangladesh, an annual incidence of 458 cases per 100,000 people and accompanying morbidity and mortality — 6 to 11 deaths per 100,000 people — constitute a significant burden.

05 JULY 2022

Newer iterations of the Omicron variant, BA.4 and BA.5 are spreading rapidly and are poised to outcompete past versions of the virus, and extend the current COVID-19 surge. Omicron BA.4 and BA.5 were first identified in South Africa in January and February 2022, respectively. Limited data indicate that the newer subvariants caused fewer hospitalisations and deaths compared to previous ones.

27 JUNE 2022

Understanding community transmission of SARS-CoV-2 remains key to developing effective strategies to combat its spread. icddr,b scientists investigated community transmission of the virus in Dhaka, Bangladesh between June and September of 2020, and published their results in the journal Tropical Medicine and Infectious Disease.

19 JUNE 2022

Ventilation in buildings has emerged as a key strategy to reduce exposure to SARS-CoV-2. The virus tends to persist at higher concentrations indoors compared to outdoors, leading to greater risk of transmission while indoors. This can be mitigated by improving air flow in buildings through installing mechanical ventilation systems or by ensuring adequate natural ventilation.

20 APRIL 2022

icddr,b has been providing treatment to a record number of diarrhoea patients from the second week of March. Daily patient count for Dhaka Hospital exceeded 1,300 per day. From 1 March till 10 April 2022, Dhaka Hospital treated more than 42,000 patients, and Matlab Hospital treated over 8,300 patients.

14 APRIL 2022

The University of Health and Allied Sciences (UHAS), Ghana renamed the renowned UHAS School of Public Health as The Professor Fred Newton Binka School of Public Health at its 25th meeting of the Governing Council in April. This was in recognition of Professor Binka’s extraordinary contribution from founding the school to continuing his support for the graduate programme even after his retirement.

24 MARCH 2022

On 24 March 2022, The Honourable Speaker of Bangladesh Jatiya Sangsad Dr Shirin Sharmin Chaudhury, MP, formally launched Bangladesh’s first Parliamentary Caucus on Tuberculosis (TB).

16 MARCH 2022

Between 19 February to 5 March 2022, icddr,b Virology Laboratory has sequenced 26 COVID-19 positive samples collected from Dhaka City. All 26 samples were Omicron variants (100%).

27 FEBRUARY 2022

The Omicron was detected in 47 samples (98%), and the remaining 1 was Delta (2%).

24 FEBRUARY 2022

Tuberculosis (TB) is a communicable, but preventable and curable disease. It is one of the top 10 leading causes of death and major ill-health globally. Moreover, Bangladesh is a high TB burden country. 360,000 people became ill and 44,000 people died from TB in 2020, meaning 120 deaths every day. The target 3.3 of Sustainable Development Goal (SDG) 3 entails ending the TB epidemic by 2030.

11 FEBRUARY 2022

Between 15 to 28 January 2022, icddr,b Virology Laboratory has sequenced 24 COVID-19 positive samples collected from Dhaka City. The Omicron was detected in 22 (92%) samples, and the remaining 2 were Delta (8%).

03 FEBRUARY 2022

Environmental intervention unit (EIU) of icddr,b constructed the first-ever jute based (Jutin) eco-friendly shelter in the Forcibly Displaced Myanmar Nationals (FDMN) camp in Cox’s Bazar, Bangladesh in collaboration with Dr Mubarak Ahmed Khan and Caritas, Bangladesh. Jutin, an alternative housing material made of jute and resin invented by Dr Khan, is durable, bio-acceptable, heat and saline water-resistant. The project has been funded by Islamic Development Bank.

20 JANUARY 2022

During the first two weeks of January 2022, the Omicron was identified in 260 (69%) out of 379 samples positive for COVID-19 in icddr,b lab from samples received from Dhaka City.