India’s first case of the XE variant of the coronavirus disease (Covid-19) was reported from Mumbai on Wednesday.
Results of the 11th genome sequencing declared by the city civic body Brihanmumbai Municipal Corporation (BMC,) found one sample positive for XE variant and another for Kappa variant.
The new mutant may be more transmissible than any strain of COVID-19, World Health Organisation had said last week.
The new mutation appeared to be around 10 per cent more transmissible than the BA.2 sub-variant of Omicron, as per the World Health Organisation.
Until now, the BA.2 sub-variant of Omicron was considered the most contagious strain of Covid-19. If this new research is confirmed, it would make XE the most transmissible Covid-19 mutant yet.
The new strain was detected in the UK at the start of the new year. Britain’s health agency said on April 3 that XE was first detected on January 19 and 637 cases of the new variant have been reported in the country so far.
Earlier in the day, the BMC said that all eligible beneficiaries above the age of 18 years in Mumbai have been fully vaccinated against COVID-19. The BMC added it has administered 92,42,888 second doses as on Tuesday against the original target of 92,36,500.
BMC executive health officer Mangala Gomare confirmed that Mumbai has achieved the full vaccination milestone, more than 14 months after the nationwide roll-out of the coronavirus inoculation drive.