Yesterday, reports claimed that a new COVID 19 sub-variant ‘XE’ has reached India as the first case was detected in Mumbai. Maharashtra’s Health Minister Rajesh Tope assured people that there is no need to panic. The state health department has yet to confirm if it is really the XE subvariant.
“The health dept has not arrived on any confirmation on the ‘XE’ variant as there’s no NIB (National Institute of Biologicals) report yet. There’s no need to panic”, said Tope.
“As per info, the ‘XE’ variant is 10% more infectious than the Omicron variant which is like flu. We’ll talk more about it in detail after getting a report; haven’t received a confirmatory report from the Centre or NIB, so Maharashtra’s health dept doesn’t confirm it”, the health minister told reporters today.
On being asked about the new 'XE' variant of #COVID19, Maharashtra Health Minister Rajesh Tope said, "the health dept has not arrived on any confirmation on the 'XE' variant as there's no NIB (National Institute of Biologicals) report yet. There's no need to panic." pic.twitter.com/QF9esbYh6OAdvertisement
— ANI (@ANI) April 7, 2022
What is the new variant?
The new XE variant is a combination of BA.1 and BA.2 strains of Omicron and was found to be responsible for enhanced viral transmission as per the preliminary reports. This sub-variant has 3 other mutations that were not there in Omicron or its BA.1 or BA.2 versions. Hence, it is being called XE.
Senior epidemiologist Dr Raman Gangakhedekar, former head scientist of the Epidemiology and Communicable Diseases Division at the Indian Council of Medical Research (ICMR), said when a recombinant occurs, it tends to last for a lesser time.
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