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New Covid-19 XE variant detected in Gujarat, second case in India so far

XE is a recombinant that health authorities are tracking closely is a BA.1-BA.2 hybrid virus, which was first detected in the United Kingdom in January.

Gujarat on Friday reported its first patient, a 60-year-old man with a travel history to Mumbai with the XE strain of the Coronavirus, official sources informed. The person, a local businessman, was tested positive for Covid-19 on March 13 and recovered in a week.

His genome sequencing test results found later, the report of which came last night, confirmed that the Vadodara resident had been infected by the XE variant of the virus.

The patient was however showing no sign of illness and was doing fine in Mumbai in home isolation, official sources said.

XE is a recombinant that health authorities are tracking closely is a BA.1-BA.2 hybrid virus, which was first detected in the United Kingdom in January.

About 600 cases have been reported so far all around, and scientists believe it may be about 10% more contagious than BA.2 (Omicron).

The new XE variant of Covid-19 is not a matter of concern as it is not likely to cause any more severity than other sub-variants of Omicron (BA.1 and BA.2) did, Dr Gagandeep Kang, Professor at Christian Medical College in Vellore, said on Thursday.

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