More COVID-19 variants are likely to come but there is nothing to panic about, said National Technical Advisory Group on Immunisation (NTAGI) chief, NK Arora. He added that the latest variant, XE, is only one among the X series of COVID variants.
"Omicron is giving rise to many new variants. It's part of the X series like XE & others. These variants will keep on occurring. Nothing to panic about... At the moment from Indian data it doesn’t show a very rapid spread," he said to news agency ANI.
He added that none of these variants are causing serious diseases, according to Indian data.
Arora said whatever has been described as the XE variant is only from the first layer of testing. To ascertain which variant it is with one test is very difficult, he added.
A case of Omicron sub-variant XE was detected in Mumbai. The BMC confirmed that a 67-year-old, fully vaccinated man was found infected by the variant. Additionally, a case of XM each was found in Mumbai and Gujarat.
All you need to know about COVID-19 variant, XE
XE is a hybrid variation of two Omicron versions, BA.1 and BA.2. The mutant variant was first detected in the UK on January 19. "The XE recombinant (BA.1-BA.2), was first detected in the UK on January 19 and less than 600 sequences have been reported and confirmed since," noted WHO last month.
"Early-day estimates indicate a community growth rate advantage of 10 percent as compared to BA.2, however, this finding requires further confirmation," WHO said about the XE variant. According to the global health body, until significant differences in characteristics are detected, such as severity and transmission, XE will continue to be classified as part of the Omicron variant of the coronavirus.
Apart from XE, XD, XF and XM have also been detected.
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