Sign In
  • ENG

First Case Of XE Covid Variant Detected In India, But Health Ministry Refutes Claim

First Case Of XE Covid Variant Detected In India, But Health Ministry Refutes Claim

South African woman becomes the first to get infected with the XE variant of the coronavirus. But the Union Health Ministry has denied all the claims. Read on to know more.

Written by Arushi Bidhuri |Updated : April 7, 2022 10:37 AM IST

A costume designer from South Africa has become the first individual in India to test positive for the XE form of Covid-19, according to the state health department and officials from the Brihan Mumbai Municipal Corporation (BMC).

The fully vaccinated 50-year-old patient, whose identity has not been revealed as per protocol, was part of a film team that arrived from South Africa on February 10. She had no prior travel history and, as per policy, she conducted routine testing, which revealed that she was positive for Covid on February 27. Her lab sample was sent to the Kasturba Hospital Central Laboratory, which is in this city.

Woman Tested Positive For XE Variant of Covid-19 Showed No Symptoms

The woman, who had received both doses of Comirnaty vaccination, tested positive again on March 2 after routine testing by Suburban Diagnostics, according to the BMC. She was promptly confined at the Taj Land's End Hotel in Bandra, where she recovered in a few days and a Spice Health test on her came out negative. The BMC had sent this sample for genome sequencing along with 230 other positive samples, of which one was an XE variant, one was a Capa variant, and the rest were Omicron BA.2 variants, according to BMC Commissioner I.S. Chahal.

Also Read

More News

The woman's status was classified as asymptomatic and without comorbidities after the XE Covid variant was discovered. All of her high-risk connections have tested negative, so there's no need to be concerned, according to Chahal. The XE variant was found in one of the 230 samples analysed by the health authorities as part of an ongoing serosurvey series, while the Capa variant was found in another. The woman has tested negative on multiple RT-PCR tests, according to the state health department.

Health Ministry Denies Claim

However, the Union Health Ministry denied all claims of the first case of the XE Covid variant in India. They refuted the claim soon after the news of the South African origin woman suspected of being infected with the XE variant.

According to a source, the FastQ files for the sample, which is supposed to represent the XE variant, were analysed in depth by INSACOG genomic experts, who concluded that the genomic makeup of this variant does not connect with the genomic image of the XE variant. According to the source, the evidence does not show that the XE variation has been discovered in India after genome sequencing of the sample.

Know More About XE Variant

The new Omicron mutant XE was identified in the UK on January 19. Reportedly, it is a mutant hybrid of the previous versions of the Omicron variant B.A.1 and B.A.2. The World Health Organisation noted in a report that this variant of the coronavirus has over 600 sequences.

(With inputs from agencies)

Total Wellness is now just a click away.

Follow us on