No report on XE variant from Centre; we can't confirm: Maharashtra health minister Rajesh Tope
A day after the Brihanmumbai Municipal Corporation reported the first case of the XE variant in Mumbai, Maharashtra health minister Rajesh Tope said the health department has not yet received any confirmation regarding the variant and hence the department can't confirm it. "As per information, XE variant is 10% more infectious than the Omicron variant. We will talk more about it in detail after getting a report. Since we have not received a confirmatory report from the Centre or NIB, Maharashtra health department does not confirm it," Rajesh Tope said to news agency ANI.
The report of the first case of a variant known to be more transmissible than Omicron has spread fresh apprehension, but health experts have confirmed that there is nothing to worry about as the variant was in India since around January but has not led to any spike.
First case of XE variant
A South African passenger was detected with this recombinant variant of Omicron in February. The woman had no symptoms and recovered from Covid since. According to data, the fully vaccinated 50-year-old woman was tested on February 27. The sequencing of her sample revealed XE variant, first reported in the United Kingdom.
Why no confirmation on XE
Though GISAID also confirmed it, INSACOG (Indian SARS-CoV-2 Genomics Consortium) has decided to go for another round of genomic sequencing at a national laboratory for the identification of the variant.
(With agency inputs)