Mumbai: The first case of the new COVID-19 variant, which is a hybrid mutant strain called XE, has been detected in Mumbai. According to reports, the XE variant is said to be a hybrid strain of the two. omicron Sub-Variants – BA.1 and BA.2.
Of the 376 samples tested, 230 patients from Mumbai were found to be infected with Omicron and one turned out to be positive for the XE variant.
The XE variant was recently traced to the United Kingdom.
The World Health Organization (WHO) has issued a warning against the ‘XE’ variant of Omicron, which may be more transmissible than any strain of COVID-19 previously observed.
According to reports, the new variant is 10 per cent more transmissible than the BA.2 subvariant, which is already the most infectious.
The WHO also warned that BA.2, a subvariant of the Omicron strain, is the most dominant strain of the virus, accounting for 86 percent of all sequenced cases.
While Xe only accounts for a small fraction of cases, its extremely high transmission potential could mean that it becomes the most dominant strain in the near future.
The global health body recently released a report outlining the preliminary findings of this potential new type of concern.
“The XE recombinant (BA.1-BA.2) was first detected in the UK on 19 January and less than 600 sequences have been reported and confirmed since then,” the report said.
“Early estimates indicate a community growth rate advantage of 10 percent compared to BA.2, however, this finding needs further confirmation,” it added.
“WHO continues to closely monitor and assess the public health risk associated with recombinant variants, as with other SARS-CoV-2 variants, and will provide updates as further evidence becomes available,” the report further said.