First case of Omicron's new sub-variant XE detected in Mumbai

India reports first case of new coronavirus variant XE in Mumbai on Wednesday.
Representative Image
Representative Image

The first case of the more transmissible COVID-19 variant XE was detected in Mumbai on Wednesday, a civic health official said.

A case of the Kappa variant was also detected, the official said, adding the results came in genome sequencing of 376 samples, the 11th batch of testing in genome sequencing lab.

Representative Image
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Of the 230 samples from Mumbai, 228 samples are of Omicron variant, while one was found to be Kappa variant and another XE variant.

The condition of the patients infected with the new strains of the virus was not serious, the official said.

The official said the XE mutant appears to be 10 per cent more transmissible than the BA.2 sub-variant of Omicron. So far, BA.2 was deemed to be the most contagious of all the COVID-19 variants.

The XE variant is a mutation of the BA.1 and BA.2 Omicron strains, referred to as a "recombinant . As per the initial studies, the XE variant has a growth rate of 9.8 percent over that of BA.2, also known as the stealth variant because of its ability to evade detection.

The World Health Organization has said the latest mutant may be more transmissible than the previous ones.

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