Doctors have observed symptoms like severe fatigue, muscle pain, loss of appetite, diarrhoea, sleeplessness, and conjunctivitis in a large number of Covid-19 patients requiring medical treatment.
They said these symptoms were not so common in such patients during the first wave of the disease in the country.
The Daily Star has learnt this after talking to doctors at four government and private hospitals treating Covid-19 patients in the capital.
"During the first wave, symptoms like fever, cough and loss of taste or smell were mainly observed in coronavirus patients. This time, a large number of patients are showing the additional symptoms," Dr Forhad Uddin Hasan, a medicine and infectious disease specialist at Dhaka Medical College Hospital's Covid-19 unit, told The Daily Star yesterday.
He also said critical patients were gasping for oxygen.
Based on his experience of dealing with Covid-19 patients, Dr Tarek Alam, professor and head of medicine department of Bangladesh Medical College, said, "Almost all patients have been complaining of weakness and insomnia this time. They are also having diarrhoea.
"There has also been a basic change regarding the lungs infection. During the first wave of Covid-19, many patients' lungs were severely affected between the eighth and 14th day of being infected. This time, the virus is damaging the lungs faster, within four to five days," he said.
Dr Tareq was the one who in July 2020 had claimed that the drug Ivermectin has an efficacy in reducing viral load against the novel coronavirus. Based on his claim, the icddr,b, later conducted a study and found this to be true.
Talking about the symptoms, Dr Md Robed Amin, secretary (research) at Bangladesh Society for Medicine, however, said, "These are anecdotal symptoms, not any findings of any scientific study. But these have some sort of significance as there is no proven cure for Covid-19."
'VARIANT CAN BE A REASON'
There is no scientific study on why more patients were showing symptoms different from those exhibited last year.
Prof Tareq Alam said, "Most probably, the new variants of novel coronavirus -- the UK variant and the South African variant -- are to blame for this. These two strains are 70 to 100 percent more infectious than the previous variants found in our country."
Prof Ridwanur Rahman, an infectious disease specialist at Universal Medical College Hospital, said a scientific study was required to reach any conclusion.
He, however, said, "The lungs getting infected faster and higher infection rates among women and young people were also noticed in South Africa. We're observing a similar situation here. So, the variant can be a reason, but we need to carry out a study on it."
CASES, DEATHS KEEPS RISING
Sixty-nine people died from Covid-19 in 24 hours till 8:00am yesterday, according to a press release issued by the Directorate General of Health Services (DGHS).
With this, the Covid-19 death toll in the country reached 9,891. The death rate stood at 1.42 percent, it said.
On Monday, the country had reported a record 83 coronavirus deaths for a single day.
At least 6,028 new infections were recorded in the 24 hours ending at 8:00am yesterday, taking the total number of people infected to 6,97,985, said the release.
The current positivity rate is 18.29 percent while the total positivity rate stands at 13.76 percent.
A total of 32,955 samples were tested across the country in those 24 hours, said the release.
At least 4,853 Covid-19 patients recovered during the period. The total number of recoveries stands at 5,85,966 and the recovery rate at 83.95 percent.
Among the 69 deceased, 43 were men and 26 were women, added the release.