New Omicron variant XE found in UK: WHO
A new Covid variant has been found in the UK but experts say it’s too soon to know if it is more transmissible than previous strains, reports ndtv.com
The UK Health Security Agency (UKHSCA) said it was studying XE - a mutation of the BA.1 and BA.2 Omicron strains, referred to as a "recombinant".
The World Health Organisation said that the new mutation XE appears to be 10 per cent more transmissible than the BA.2 sub-variant of Omicron.
"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.
Britain's health agency said that XE was first detected on January 19 and 637 cases of the new variant have been reported yet.
Meanwhile, the BA.2 sub-variant of Omicron is spreading rapidly across the globe. 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.