What Maharashtra Covid task force member said on XE variant

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A new Coronavirus subvariant has made its way to India and the first case is detected in the financial hub of the country, Mumbai. However, on Wednesday, a member of the Maharashtra government’s Covid-19 task assured the citizens that there was no need to panic about the detection of the XE variant of the virus.

The member also did urge citizens to continue following Covid-appropriate behaviour.

Mumbai is the first in India to record the case of the XE variant of the Coronavirus disease.

Dr. Shashank Joshi through his Twitter account cited official sources while saying, “FastQ files in respect of the sample, which is being said to be ‘XE’ variant were analysed in detail by genomic experts of INSACOG who have inferred that the genomic constitution of this variant does not correlate with the genomic picture of ‘XE’ variant.”

Joshi further said, “Mumbai XE variant case occurred in first week in March from an international traveler who fully recovered but Genomic data is out today. No need to panic, follow covid appropriate behavior.”

The Brihanmumbai Municipal Corporation (BMC) in a statement stated that the hybrid of two omicron strains has been detected in a 50-year-old woman who had travelled to the city from South Africa in February.

Notably, the woman had tested negative on her arrival from South Africa. The elderly woman was fully vaccinated and had no co-morbidity and was asymptomatic.

The World Health Organisation (WHO) has warned about the new subvariant, typically a hybrid strain of two Omicron subvariants. The international public health body, stated that the XE variant of the virus is more transmissible than any other Covid strain so far.

Earlier, this week, the UN health agency flagged the emergence of the new coronavirus variant XE- a hybrid of the BA.1 and BA.2 variations of Omicron that was the cause of third-wave across the globe and also with origins from South Africa.

As per WHO, the recombinant variant appears to be 10% more transmissible than the BA.2 sub-variant of Omicron. Also, a UK Health Security Agency (UKHSA) study recently revealed that currently as many are 3 hybrid COVID variants are circulating. The two different combinations of Delta and BA.1 are XD and XF. The third is XE.

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