A review of the genome, epidemiology, clinical features, prevention and treatment scenario of COVID-19: Bangladesh aspects
Background: The ongoing acute respiratory disease pandemic termed COVID-19 caused by a newly emerged coronavirus has jeopardized the world’s health and economic sectors. As of July 20, 2020, the virus now known as SARS-CoV-2 has already infected more than 14 million individuals and killed 612,815 patients with a mortality rate of 4.12% around the world regardless of age, gender and race.
Main body: Bangladesh has become one of its worst sufferers, with 207,453 infected people and 2,668 related deaths with a mortality rate of 1.29% until July 20, 2020. More than 50% of COVID-19 patients in Bangladesh are aged between 21 and 40 but elderly people aged more than 60 have the highest mortality rate (44.7%). Male individuals are also more susceptible to the virus than females and consist of 71% and 79% among the infected and deceased patients respectively. The most prevalent clinical features following the virus incubation period are fever, fatigue and dry cough. A phylogenetic analysis study elucidated that the virus strain found in the country has 9 single-nucleotide variants, mostly in the ORF1ab gene, and a sequence containing 3 successive variants in the N protein, which reflects a weaker strain of SARS-CoV-2, implicating a possibility of its lower mortality rate. Another investigation of 184 genome samples of SARS-CoV-2 across the country implicated a close homology with a European haplotype of SARS-CoV-2. The country has also joined the race of vaccine development and started phase-III clinical trials of a candidate vaccine developed by Sinovac Research and Development Co Ltd, China.
Conclusion: Bangladesh, as a developing country, still struggles with the pandemic and needs to scale up its response operation and improve health care facilities such as testing capacity, institutional quarantine and isolation centers and promote awareness. Preventive measures such as strict lockdown, social distancing and boosting the existing immune system are thus considered the only contrivances.