New Covid variant XE, more transmissible than Omicron emerge in UK: WHO

Coronavirus. Image credit: UNI

London/CMEDIA: The new Covid variant XE that has emerged in the UK is likely to be more transmissible than any strain of COVID-19 so far, according to the World Health Organization (WHO)

The health body said XE is a “recombinant” is a mutation of BA’1 and BA.2 Omicron strains.

This happens when multiple variants of Covid infect a person as the different variants mix up their genetic material during replication and form a new mutation.

“Early-day estimates indicate a community growth rate advantage of 10 percent as compared to BA.2, however, this finding requires further confirmation,” the global health body added.

British authorities have said first detected it on January 19 and 637 cases of the new variant have been reported yet.

The BA.2 sub-variant of Omicron is spreading rapidly across the globe with the US and China also eporting surge in cases.

Some 4.9 million people in the UK are estimated to have had Covid-19 in the week ending March 26, or 600,000 more than the previous week, the latest survey by the Office for National Statistics said.

US and China also reported a surge in Covid cases driven by the BA.2 variant.

China reported nearly 104,000 domestic Covid infections in March, with 90 percent of the recent cases found in Shanghai or northeastern Jilin province.