If you think Covid-19 is gone for good, think again. A new coronavirus variant has just emerged and it’s called the XE variant. It originated from the UK, not from South Africa like Omicron.
The newly identified variant is a mutation of the BA.1 and BA.2 Omicron strains, referred to as a “recombinant”. As per the initial studies, the XE variant has a growth rate of 9.8 percent over that of BA.2, also known as the stealth variant because of its ability to evade detection
According to the World Health Organization, the new XE variant appears to be 10 per cent more transmissible than the BA.2 sub-variant of Omicron. So far, BA.2 was deemed to be the most contagious of all the COVID-19 variants.
Some facts about the new Covid XE variant
Here are some things you need to know about the new Covid XE variant:
- Over 637 new cases have been so far reported in UK with the most coming from London.
- World Health Organization has warned that the latest mutant may be more transmissible than the previous ones.
- 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 alone.
- XE only accounts for a tiny fraction of cases worldwide. That may change, given that XE is thought to be about 10% more transmissible than the already more-transmissible BA.2.
- XE may be roughly 43% more transmissible than the original Omicron.
Covid-19 refresher tips and the “London disease”
New variants will continue to emerge. It’s better to be safe than sorry. Stay safe by following these simple tips:
- Don’t assume that COVID-19 is all over and you can now fully drop your guard.
- Wear a mask in public, especially indoors and crowded places, when physical distancing is not possible.
- Sanitize and wash your hands frequently.
- Get vaccinated and do not be fooled by all the vaccine misinformation, and say Covid is not your portion!
It won’t be business as usual for a long time. You never know what next is round the corner, with Covid.
London is probably Nigeria’s favourite destination. And with 1 in 13 people in the UK now infected by Covid-19, the disease is just a flight away from Nigeria.