Though the Centre has yet to certify the presence of the new variant in Mumbai, Assam’s health minister, Keshab Mahanta, claimed that the state is prepared to tackle the coronavirus variant of XE.
Mahanta said on the sidelines of a government function: “The previous waves of Covid had reached India two to three months after being reported in other countries, and hit the northeastern states after another couple of months.”
In addition, he said, “We have been vaccinated, inoculated with booster doses and hospital infrastructure has been strengthened. Irrespective of the contagious nature of the new variant, we will win.”
However, according to health department sources, the state’s major concern is the children’s vaccination programme.
According to the most current health department data, the first dose coverage of youth aged 12 to 14 years was a little over 10% as of March 31.
Moreover, only 53.58 per cent of youngsters aged 15 to 17 were given the second dose, while 75.10 per cent received the first.
Meanwhile, the health department’s attempts to enhance children’s vaccination by deploying teams to schools were disrupted by the closure of a substantial number of schools owing to ongoing board examinations.
According to health department sources, the first dose has been administered to approximately 97 per cent of the state’s eligible population aged 18 and over. For the second dose, the equivalent percentage was roughly 84 per cent.
Covid-19 XE variant in India
On Wednesday, the first case of the XE variant of the coronavirus illness (Covid-19) in India was reported from Mumbai.
Meanwhile, the Brihanmumbai Municipal Corporation (BMC) announced in a statement that a 50-year-old lady who travelled to the city from South Africa in February had a hybrid of two omicron strains BA.1 and BA.2.
According to the BMC, the asymptomatic patient had no comorbidities and was quarantined after being diagnosed over a month later in March.
XE is a mutation seen in Omicron variant strains, and preliminary evidence suggests it may be 10% more transmissible than other Omicron mutations.
However, the XE recombinant (BA.1-BA.2) was initially found in the UK on January 19, according to the WHO, and more than 600 sequences have been reported and confirmed since then.