COVID-19: Centre Says, “Evidence Doesn’t Suggest Presence Of New XE Variant”


Amid reports of the Greater Mumbai Municipal Corporation stating that a patient tested positive for the XE variant of COVID-19, a member of the Maharashtra coronavirus task force, Dr Shashank Joshi remarked that there was no need to panic while urging all to adhere to COVID-19 appropriate behaviour. 

Joshi mentioned that the Mumbai XE mutant case transpired in the first week of March in an international traveller who fully recovered. However, the genome data for the same was declared on Wednesday, April 6.

Further, he elaborated on how official sources the sample was being said to be the XE variant was comprehensively analyzed by experts of the Indian SARS-CoV-2 Genomics Consortium (INSACOG) who inferred that the genomic constitution of the said variant is not correlated with the genomic picture of the XE variant. 

On the other hand, news agency ANI reported that the evidence does not suggest the presence of the XE variant in India and denied earlier accounts suggesting that the variant has been detected in India. 

The Maharashtra health department in its bulletin elucidated how the new variant was detected in a vaccinated woman (50) who is a citizen of South Africa with no comorbidity and is asymptomatic. The statement by the Union Ministry of Health reportedly mentioned, “She had come from South Africa on February 10 and had no prior travel history. On arrival, she had tested negative for the virus.”

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