First Case of Omicron's New Variant 'XE' detected in Mumbai


by Hamna Bano

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According to the Brihanmumbai Municipal Corporation (BMC), the first case of coronavirus’s new variant ‘XE’ has been reported in Mumbai, India.

The new variant has raised concerns as it is said to be more transmissible than all the past variants of the virus yet discovered.

On January 19, 2022 the first case of the variant 'XE' was detected in the UK where the World Health Organization warned that the new variant is 10% more powerful than the current Omicron BA2 subtype.

The Health Officer Brihanmumbai Municipal Corporation (BMC) Dr. Mangala Gomare said that "the XE patient is a 50-year-old fashion designer and arrived from South Africa on February 10. She does not have any travel history prior to that."

The BMC statement revealed that "She is vaccinated with both doses of the Comimaty vaccine. On arrival, she was negative for COVID-19 but tested positive on March 2. She was quarantined in a hotel room at Taj Land's End Hotel."

Additional Commissioner BMC Suresh Kakani added, "the BMC's 11th genome sequencing report said that 228 out of the 376 samples sequenced were from Mumbai. Over 99% of these Mumbai patients were found to have Omicron."


Until now, it was observed that the most contagious variant of coronavirus was the BA-2 subvariant. But, several new pieces of research are being conducted to confirm if the new XE variant is more transmittable.

Another new update on the first case detection is gathering attention globally. It has been suspected by Union Health that the genome sequencing of the patient's sample does not point towards the presence of the XE variant. Experts believe that it is too early to pass such statements until and unless thorough research is done on the new XE variant.