Mumbai: The first case of XE, a more transmissible COVID-19 variant, was detected in Mumbai on Wednesday, a civic health official said. A case of the Kappa variant was also detected during a sero survey, the official said, adding the results came in genome sequencing of 376 samples, the 11th batch of testing in the local genome sequencing lab. As per the survey, Omicron variant was found in 228 out of 230 samples (99.13 per cent cases) from Mumbai, he said. The genome sequencing of 376 samples was conducted at the municipal Kasturba Hospital’s Genome Sequencing Lab.
The condition of the patients infected with the new strains of the virus was not serious, the official said.
Mumbai on Tuesday reported 56 COVID-19 cases, which is a three-fold rise from the addition to the tally a day earlier, taking the infection count here 10,58,185, a civic official said.
The death toll remained unchanged at 19,559, while the recovery count rose by 36 to touch 10,38,356, leaving the metropolis with 270 active cases.
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.
(Except for the headline, this story has not been edited by NDTV staff and is published from a syndicated feed.)
NDTV – Dettol have been working towards a clean and healthy India since 2014 via Banega Swachh India initiative, which is helmed by Campaign Ambassador Amitabh Bachchan. The campaign aims to highlight the inter-dependency of humans and the environment, and of humans on one another with the focus on One Health, One Planet, One Future – Leaving No One Behind. It stresses on the need to take care of, and consider, everyone’s health in India – especially vulnerable communities – the LGBTQ population, indigenous people, India’s different tribes, ethnic and linguistic minorities, people with disabilities, migrants, geographically remote populations, gender and sexual minorities. In wake of the current COVID-19 pandemic, the need for WASH (Water, Sanitation and Hygiene) is reaffirmed as handwashing is one of the ways to prevent Coronavirus infection and other diseases. The campaign will continue to raise awareness on the same along with focussing on the importance of nutrition and healthcare for women and children, fight malnutrition, mental wellbeing, self care, science and health, adolescent health & gender awareness. Along with the health of people, the campaign has realised the need to also take care of the health of the eco-system. Our environment is fragile due to human activity, that is not only over-exploiting available resources, but also generating immense pollution as a result of using and extracting those resources. The imbalance has also led to immense biodiversity loss that has caused one of the biggest threats to human survival – climate change. It has now been described as a “code red for humanity.” The campaign will continue to cover issues like air pollution, waste management, plastic ban, manual scavenging and sanitation workers and menstrual hygiene. Banega Swasth India will also be taking forward the dream of Swasth Bharat, the campaign feels that only a Swachh or clean India where toilets are used and open defecation free (ODF) status achieved as part of the Swachh Bharat Abhiyan launched by Prime Minister Narendra Modi in 2014, can eradicate diseases like diahorrea and the country can become a Swasth or healthy India.