The Central government on Wednesday denied media reports claiming that the first case of the COVID-19 'XE' mutant had been detected in the country.
It said that FastQ files of the sample, being said to be 'XE' variant, was analysed by INSACOG (Indian SARS-CoV-2 Genomics Consortium) which inferred that the genomic constitution of this variant doesn't correlate with the genomic picture of 'XE'.
"Present evidence does not suggest that it is 'XE' variant of COVID-19," a government official told ANI.
Earlier today, the Greater Mumbai Municipal Corporation said that "one patient is affected by 'Kappa' variant and another by 'XE' variant" based on regular testing of samples.
According to the World Health Organisation (WHO), the new COVID mutant ‘XE’ may be more transmissible than the BA.2 sublineage of COVID-19. It was first detected in the UK.
However, virologists in India have said that it is not clear that the variant is strong enough to cause another COVID wave in the country even as they advised to exercise caution and follow COVID-appropriate behaviour.
"The XE recombinant (BA.1-BA.2), was first detected in the United Kingdom on January 19 and 600 sequences have been reported and confirmed since," the WHO had said.