Omicron XE Variant Detected in India
A warning was issued by the WHO last week regarding the new Omicron sub-variant XE, which was first discovered in the UK in March.
India on Wednesday (April 6) reported its first case of the new Omicron sub-variant, which was first discovered in the UK last month. The case of XE Omicron sub-variant of Covid-19 was detected in Mumbai. “One case of Omicron’s new sub-variant XE detected in Mumbai,” said BMC.
The Covid-19 variant XE, which was found in the UK, is a mutation of strains of two Omicron variant of Covid-19, which was behind India’s third wave in January 2022. As per early indications out on Tuesday in the UK, the variant may be around 10 percent more transmissible in comparison to other Omicron mutations.
The XE, which is a mutation of BA.1 and BA.2 Omicron strains, is being studied by the UK Health Security Agency (UKHSA).
Meanwhile in Mumbai, a case of the Kappa variant was also detected during a sero survey. A civic body said that the condition of the patients infected with the new strains was not serious.
Mumbai on Tuesday logged 56 Covid-19 cases, a three-fold rise from a day ago. There are 270 active cases in the city currently.
The XE variant is a mutation of the BA.1 and BA.2 Omicron strains, referred to as a “recombinant”. As per the initial studies, the XE variant has a growth rate of 9.8 percent over that of BA.2, also known as the stealth variant because of its ability to evade detection. The World Health Organization has said the latest mutant may be more transmissible than the previous ones.
Cases of XE mutant strain have also been detected in Thailand and New Zealand. There is no evidence of it causing more severe disease, with all Omicron variants so far showing lesser severity compared to earlier dominant Delta variant of Covid-19.