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New Delhi: The Health Ministry on Wednesday has dismissed the reports of the identification of a more infectious Covid-19 XE, variant, in Mumbai.

“Present evidence doesn’t suggest that it’s ‘XE’ variant. FastQ files of the sample, being said to be ‘XE’ variant was analysed by INSACOG genomic experts who inferred that genomic constitution of this variant doesn’t correlate with genomic picture of ‘XE’ variant,” the ministry said.

The rebuttal came after the Brihanmumbai Municipal Corporation (BMC) guaranteed that the XE variation was recognized in the city during the genome sequencing of tests.

The BMC said that the patient is a 50-year-old completely inoculated female who had arrived from South Africa on February 10. She was asymptomatic and had tested negative for Covid-19 on appearance in India.

Of the total 230 patients whose samples were sent for serosurvey, 21 were later admitted to the hospital. However, none of the patients required oxygen support or intensive care. According to the report, no serious symptoms are seen in the patients infected with the new variant.

ALSO READ: India Reports First Case Of Omicron XE Variant From Mumbai, Fully-Jabbed Woman Infected

According to the recent information given by WHO, the ‘XE’ variant of Coronavirus is more contagious than the BA.2 sub-variant of Omicron. Before the arrival of ‘XE’, BA.2 was believed to be the most infectious variant of COVID-19.

According to the report, the ‘XE’ variant is made up of two versions of Omicron, BA.1 and BA.2. This new variant was first found in the UK on 19 January. Tata Institute for Genetics and Society (TIGS) has urged not to panic about this new variant. It has also been said that experts are monitoring the development of XE.

Speaking exclusively to ANI on Saturday, Tata Institute for Genetics and Society (TIGS) Director Rakesh Mishra said, “The new mutant XE emerged for the first time in mid-January, but I believe that there is no need to push a ‘panic button’. So far, only 600 cases have been reported across the world. But we need to keep a close watch on it.”

He further said that there is no indication that it can cause a wave of COVID-19. “No indication is present at the moment highlighting that this new variant is so strong that it can cause a wave. We need to wait for some more time to make comments on how transmissible it can be,” he said.

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