Amid global concerns over thye highly transmissible XE Covid-19 variant, Gujarat has detected its first patient in a 60 year old man with a travel history to Mumbai, according to the sources.
In Gujarat, the case is believed to be old. The genome sequencing test results, which help in the detection of Covid variants – can take a few days to weeks, according to a report by Hindustan Times.
One recombinant that health authorities are tracking closely is a BA.1-BA.2 hybrid called XE, which was first detected in the United Kingdom in January. About 600 cases have been reported, and scientists believe it may be about 10% more contagious than BA.2.
The new XE variant of Covid-19 is not a matter of concern as it is not likely to cause any more severity than other sub-variants of Omicron (BA.1 and BA.2) did, Dr Gagandeep Kang, Professor at Christian Medical College in Vellore, said on Thursday.
“Variants will come because people are travelling. Of what we know of the variant (XE) is that it is not a point of concern,” Kang said.
“We were worried about BA.2 but it did not cause more serious disease than BA.1. XE does not cause more serious disease than BA.1 or BA.2,” she said on the sidelines of a panel discussion organised by John Hopkins Gupta-Klinsky India Institute
The World Health Organisation (WHO) has issued warning against XE, a new variant of Omicron first detected in the UK.
It has suggested that it could be more transmissible than any Covid strain so far. XE is a combination or recombinant of both sub-variants (BA.1 and BA.2) of Omicron.
The Brihanmumbai Municipal Corporation (BMC) has said it has detected the first case of XE infection in Mumbai.
However, the Union Health Ministry said that the sample which is being said to be ‘XE’ variant was analysed in detail by genome experts of the Indian SARS-CoV-2 Genomics Consortium (INSACOG), who have inferred that the genomic constitution of this variant does not correlate with the genomic constitution of XE variant.