BMC officials said the patient, who tested positive for Covid almost a month back, is back in Mumbai and is asymptomatic. “We have tested his close contacts as well and they too are negative for the disease,” said BMC executive health officer Dr Mangala Gomare.
Incidentally, this is the second time that the XE variant has been reported in the country, both the times with a Mumbai connection. Earlier in the week, the civic authorities had announced that a South African national had tested positive for XE in Mumbai’s Kasturba Hospital genome laboratory.
On Saturday morning, reports from Ahmedabad said that the genome sequencing report of a 67-year-old man showed the XE variant of Omicron. The XE variant, which is a recombinant of both BA1 and BA2 variants of Omicron, has been responsible for the fresh outbreak in many European nations.
On Saturday evening, the BMC sent out a report stating that the 67-year-old man was a resident of Santacruz who had visited Vadodara on March 11. A BMC official said that the patient and his wife had gone to Vadodara by an Indigo flight and met two Britishers who had come from London on March 6. The same day, he developed a fever and was tested the next day. He returned to Mumbai in a private taxi on March 13.
“He remained isolated at home for the next seven days till March 20. We have tested two of his high-risk contacts, his wife and maid servant, but both tested negative,” said BMC officials. BMC executive health officer Dr Mangala Gomare said, “The patient is asymptomatic and stable as of today.”
Incidentally, reports from Gujarat suggest that the sample sent by Gujarat has already been double-checked by National Institute of Biomedical Genomics, Kolkata. “The positive XE report was conveyed to Ahmedabad officials on Friday,” said officials.
Earlier this week, the central government was at loggerheads with BMCMaharashtra government for announcing the first XE case in India.