After Maharashtra, Gujarat reports XE variant of COVID

This comes days after the Brihanmumbai Municipal Corporation (BMC) stated that a case of XE variant has been detected in Mumbai, which was belied by INSACOG

According to the World Health Organization (WHO), the XE recombinant (BA.1-BA.2), was first detected in the United Kingdom on 19 January

Gujarat has reported a case of XE variant of COVID in India, according to reports.

An Indian Sarscov2 Genome Consortium (INSACOG) laboratory in Gujarat has confirmed the variant.

This comes days after the Brihanmumbai Municipal Corporation (BMC) stated that a case of XE variant had been detected in Mumbai.

“The patient is a 50-year-old woman associated with the Hindi film industry. She had recently returned from South Africa,” the BMC had said in its statement.

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The INSACOG, a Central government testing agency, said that the case was not confirmed and the result of the Kasturba Hospital central laboratory came out positive for the XE variant due to “inadvertent errors in the automatic system”.

But, according to INSACOG, the Gujarat sample matched with the XE variant of COVID-29 more than the Mumbai variant and hence, it was a confirmed case of XE variant.

According to the World Health Organization (WHO), the XE recombinant (BA.1-BA.2), was first detected in the United Kingdom on 19 January and more than 600 sequences have been reported and confirmed since. The XE variant has also been detected in Thailand and New Zealand.

XE belongs to the Omicron variant until significant differences in transmission and disease characteristics, including severity, may be reported, WHO said in its “COVID-19 Weekly Epidemiological Update” on 29 March.

Also read: Mumbai civic body, Centre differ on COVID XE case; patient recovers

“Early-day estimates indicate a community growth rate advantage of 10% as compared to BA.2, however, this finding requires further confirmation. XE belongs to the Omicron variant until significant differences in transmission and disease characteristics, including severity, may be reported,” the report said.

WHO said that it will continue to closely monitor and assess the public health risk associated with recombinant variants alongside other SARS-CoV-2 variants, and will provide updates as further evidence becomes available.

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