Thailand recorded the first case of the new Omicron variant named XE, which is a hybrid of the BA.1 and BA.2 Omicron variants.
The matter is confirmed by the Center for Medical Genomics, Ramathibodi Hospital in Bangkok.
The World Health Organization (WHO) last Tuesday voiced concern on the XE variant and warned that it may be more infectious than the original Omicron.
However, its infectivity is still under research.
The UK Health Security Agency (UKHSA) also recently informed that monitoring is ongoing on three recombinant variants which are XD, XE and XF.
To date, only the XE variant is detected in Britain with 637 confirmed cases.
Currently, there are six mutations of Omicron for BA.1 and BA.2 which are XE, XG, XH, XJ, XK and XL that are still under research globally.
According to UKHSA, XE is 9.8% more infectious compared to any earlier Omicron variant and 43% more infectious compared to the original Omicron variant (B.1.1.529).
“So far there is not enough evidence to draw conclusions about transmissibility, severity, or vaccine effectiveness against the XE variant.”