XE variant of Covid-19 reported in India: Follow these guidelines to stay safe

Published on Apr 06, 2022 09:11 PM IST
  • Maharashtra government's Covid-19 task force member Dr Shashank Joshi said that there is no need to panic and urged citizens to follow Covid-appropriate behaviour.
The XE variant of Covid-19 has been detected in a South African female, who is fully vaccinated with Comirnaty vaccine. (PTI)
The XE variant of Covid-19 has been detected in a South African female, who is fully vaccinated with Comirnaty vaccine. (PTI)
Written by Sharangee Dutta | Edited by Aniruddha Dhar, New Delhi

India on Wednesday reported the first case of the XE variant of Covid-19 from Mumbai. The infection was found in a 50-year-old female, who is a South African citizen, in the serosurvey conducted by the Brihanmumbai Municipal Corporation (BMC). A costume designer, the woman is fully vaccinated with both doses of the Comirnaty vaccine.

Government sources, however, said the evidence doesn't suggest the presence of 'XE' mutant in India and denied the media reports.

Also Read | XE variant of Covid-19 in India: What are the symptoms of new mutation

The government sources said that FastQ files of the sample, being said to be the 'XE' variant, were analysed by the INSACOG (Indian SARS-CoV-2 Genomics Consortium) which inferred that the genomic constitution of this variant doesn't correlate with the genomic picture of 'XE'.

"The present evidence does not suggest that it is the 'XE' variant of Covid-19," a source said.

Maharashtra government's Covid-19 task force member Dr Shashank Joshi took to Twitter to say that there is “no need to panic” and also urged to “follow Covid-appropriate behaviour”.

The XE variant is a combination of BA.1 and BA.2 strains of Omicron. The daily Covid-19 bulletin released by the Maharashtra government on Wednesday said the new variant has been found to be “responsible for enhanced viral transmission as per primary reports”.

However, it added that “frequent changes in genomic structure are part of the natural life course of the viruses”. “There is no need for scare but everyone should opt for appropriate precaution,” the bulletin echoed Dr Joshi.

With the identification of XE variant in India, the focus now shifts to all key measures that the Centre has laid down for citizens to keep from getting infected with Covid-19.

Here is a list of Covid guidelines one can follow to stay safe:

1. According to guidelines shared by the Union health ministry in 2020, greeting people without making any physical contact such as a handshake or hug, should be followed to keep from getting infected with Covid-19.

2. Maintaining six feet (around 2 metres) distance among people.

3. Wearing of mask - either homemade or reusable has also been included in Covid-appropriate behaviours.

4. The Centre had also said people must not unnecessarily touch their eyes, nose or mouth.

5. Respiratory hygiene also needs to be maintained.

6. Washing hands frequently with soap and “thoroughly” is one of the measures to keep from getting infected with Covid-19.

7. People must not chew tobacco products and spit in public places.

8. Surfaces inside one's home that are frequently touched must be cleaned regularly and disinfected as well.

9. Avoid unnecessary travel.

10. Avoid crowded places.

11. In case of symptoms related to Covid-19 such as fever, cough or difficulty in breathing, the person must contact the national toll-free helpline 1075 or the respective state helpline numbers.

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