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All About Coronavirus XE Variant as COVID-19 Cases Rise in Delhi-NCR

The World Health Organisation (WHO) had last week issued a warning against a new mutant that may be more transmissible than any strain of Covid-19 seen before.

Just when we thoughts things are getting back to normalcy, reports of the Covid-19 XE variant started doing the rounds. Over the last two days, at least three schools in Ghaziabad and Noida have shut the schools and switched the online classes after students and teachers tested positive for the coronavirus.

According to a report in Mint, the national capital Delhi, the daily Covid cases stood at 299 and the positivity rate has increased to 2.49 per cent on Wednesday. In the past two days, the city has recorded 501 new cases, with the active case count rising to 814.

The World Health Organisation (WHO) had last week issued a warning against a new mutant that may be more transmissible than any strain of Covid-19 seen before.

‘XE’ is a mutant hybrid of the two previous versions of the Omicron variant, BA.1 and BA.2, which spread across the world. It was first detected in the UK on January 19 and since then a few hundred sequences have been reported and confirmed.

According to the WHO, XE has a community growth rate advantage of about 10 per cent as compared to BA.2 subvariant, which is already the most contagious.

While XE only accounts for a small fraction of the cases, its extremely high transmissibility could mean that it becomes the most dominant strain in the near future.

According to the UK Health Security Agency, XE comes with symptoms such as running noses, sneezing and sore throats, as opposed to the original strain of the virus which generally led to fever, coughs and a loss of taste or smell. The XE variant has also been detected in Thailand and New Zealand. The WHO has said further data is required before more can be said about the mutation.

According to Susan Hopkins, chief medical adviser for UKHSA, more data is needed to confirm whether XE has a “true growth advantage”, as it has shown a “variable growth rate” so far over the time it has been monitored, Forbes reported.

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