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Omicron sub-variant XE is not lethal, Maharashtra Health Minister Rajesh Tope on Saturday and also added that “the only case detected in the state of an elderly man is asymptomatic." Meanwhile, after Maharastra, the 2nd case of XE COVID variant has been detected in Gujarat.  

Tope said a 67-year-old man and his wife who had been in Mumbai tested positive for coronavirus in Gujarat last month. "The man had arrived from London on March 6 and came in contact with two Britishers. On March 11, he experienced a mild fever. On March 12, he was tested during his stay in Vadodara and the sample was sent for genome sequencing to the Gujarat Biotechnology Research Centre," Tope said.

The elderly man developed a fever on March 13 and returned to Mumbai the following day. The three other persons in Gujarat who came in contact with the infected man were tested but they were found negative. 

"The man has been in quarantine at his home in Mumbai since March 20. He is asymptomatic. He had taken two doses (of the anti-COVID-19 vaccine). He is suffering from hypertension. There is no worry about the new variant, it is not lethal," he added. 

According to Gujarat government officials, the man was found infected with the XE variant as per a report given by a Gandhinagar-based laboratory, which was cross-checked and confirmed by a facility in Kolkata on Friday.

The World Health Organisation (WHO) has said that XE could be more transmissible than any COVID-19 strain so far. XE is a combination or a recombinant of both sub-variants (BA.1 and BA.2) of Omicron.

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