60-Yr-Old Tests Positive For COVID-19 XE Variant In Gujarat

Ahmedabad: After Mumbai, the XE variant of COVID-19, a more infectious but not more severe than the Omicron, has been detected in Gujarat, The Hindu reported quoting a highly-placed official.

The report further said that an Indian Sarscov2 Genome Consortium (INSACOG) laboratory in Gujarat, the Gujarat Biotechnology Research Centre (GBRC), has confirmed the variant, but GBRC lab head, Madhavi Joshi, declined to comment.

“Samples from Gujarat have been sent to NCDC, but from what we see this fits the definition of XE more than the Mumbai one,” a person cited earlier said on condition of anonymity.

According to News18, a 60-year-old man from Gotri area of Vadodara city tested positive on March 11. Genome sequencing. of his showed he had contracted the XE variant. The man, however, had no inter-state travel history.

On Wednesday, Brihanmumbai Municipal Corporation (BMC) reported a case of the XE variant from a sample isolated in February, but INSACOG officials and the Union Health Ministry, are yet to confirm if it is an XE variant. The data of the patient, a South African resident who has recovered from the infection since, will be sent to the National Institute of Biomedical Genomics (NIBGM) for further confirmation, an official had said.

So far, only 600 instances of this variant have been recorded in the global repository.

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