First cases of Omicron XE, Kappa variant in India detected in Mumbai
Mumbai: The first case of the more transmissible Omicron XE variant of COVID-19 has been detected in India on Wednesday in Mumbai, according to a civic health official. Omicron XE is a mutation of two strains of the Omicron variants, BA.1 and BA.2 and is referred to as a “recombinant”. According to early indications, this variant is at least 10 per cent more transmissible than the other Omicron variants.
A case of the Kappa variant was also detected, the official said, adding the results came in genome sequencing of 376 samples, the 11th batch of testing in the genome sequencing lab. Of the 230 samples from Mumbai, 228 samples are of the Omicron variant, while one was found to be the Kappa variant and another XE variant. The condition of the patients infected with the new strains of the virus was not serious, the official said.
The XE mutant, he said, 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 World Health Organization has said the latest mutant may be more transmissible than the previous ones.