Gujarat detects its first case of the highly transmissible XE variant of Omicron


The state reported its first case after a man from Mumbai tested positive for COVID-19 during his visit to Vadodara

Gujarat detects its first case of the highly transmissible XE variant of Omicron

Representational image. PTI

Amid global concerns over the 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.

The man had tested positive for the infection last month and later returned to Mumbai. But the report about detection of the XE sub-variant in him was received on 8 April, 2022, he said, adding that the man’s current status is not known to the authorities in Vadodara.

Also read: COVID-19 variant XE detected in Mumbai: All you need to know about the ‘highly transmissible’ strain

XE, the latest mutant of Omicron may be more transmissible than the previous ones, the World Health Organization has said.

«A man from Santa Cruz in Mumbai, had tested positive for COVID-19 on March 12 during his visit to Vadodara. His wife was accompanying him,» Medical Officer of Health, Vadodara Municipal Corporation, Devesh Patel said.

As per the results of his sample’s genome sequencing received yesterday, he is found to have been infected with the new mutant XE, a sub-variant of Omicron, he said.

The man had visited Vadodara due to some work and stayed at a hotel. After developing fever, he got himself tested for COVID-19 at a private lab, the result of which came positive, Patel said.

«He was found positive on March 12. His sample was sent for genome sequencing. As per the result, declared yesterday, he was found infected with a new mutant XE variant,» he said.

«He had provided local address of his relatives for his sample. He had returned to Mumbai on his own soon after. No further status of the patient is known to the local authorities,» Patel added.

The new mutant – first detected in the UK – may be more transmissible than any strain of COVID-19, World Health Organisation had said last week.

The first case of the new Omicron variant, XE, was detected in Mumbai on 6 April, 2022. Of the 230 COVID-infected patients, one has been detected with the XE strain while another with the Kappa variant, the Greater Mumbai Municipal Corporation said in a statement.

Touted as more transmissible by the World Health Organisation (WHO), the XE is a recombinant variant, which means it is a mutant hybrid of the two previous versions of the Omicron variant, BA.1 and BA.2.

However, according to top virologist Dr Gagandeep Kang, a Professor at Christian Medical College in Vellore, the new XE variant of the coronavirus is not a matter of concern as it is not likely to cause any more severity than other sub-variants of Omicron.

With inputs from PTI

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