India reports first case of Covid variant XE

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India on Wednesday reported her first case of the new Covid-19 variant, XE from Mumbai.

The Omicron’s new sub-variant was detected in the latest genome sequencing of the Brihanmumbai Municipal Corporation (BMC) conducted at Kasturba Hospital.

The patient is a 50-year-old fully vaccinated female who had arrived from South Africa on February 10. She was asymptomatic and had tested negative for Covid-19 on arrival in India, according to data shared by the BMC.

India reported 1,086 new coronavirus infections and 71 fatalities, taking the total tally of Covid-19 cases to 4,30,30,925 and toll to 5,21,487, the Union Health Ministry said on Wednesday.

The number of active cases dipped to 11,871. The active cases comprise 0.03 per cent of the total infections, while the national Covid-19 rate remained at 98.76 per cent, the ministry said.

Last week, the World Health Organisation had notified that a new strain of the Covid-19 Omicron variant, first detected in the UK, appears to be more transmissible than previous strains of the coronavirus, while asserting that Covid-19 remains a public health emergency of international concern and warning that it is “too early” to reduce the quality of surveillance.

The WHO, in its latest update, said that the XE recombinant (BA.1-BA.2) was first detected in the UK on January 19 and more than 600 sequences have been reported and confirmed since then.

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