Australia: Authorities on alert as first case of Covid XE variant emerges

New DelhiEdited By: Manas JoshiUpdated: Apr 15, 2022, 03:23 PM IST
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Representative image Photograph:(IANS)

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An overseas traveller has been found infected with XE variant

Australian health authorities are on alert after detection of XE variant of coronavirus in the country. The sub-variant was detected in an overseas traveller who landed in New South Wales (NSW). It is the most populous state in the country.

XE variant of coronavirus is combonation of BA.2 and BA.1

BA.2 is also known as 'stealth Omicron and BA.1 is the original, highly transmissible Omicron variant of the virus. 

The overseas traveller was found to be positive for the variant XE on April 9. There are no reports of more Covid cases due this specific variant so far.

On Friday (April 15), the country reported more than 40,000 new Covid cases. More than 30 deaths were reported. New South Wales accounted for 16 of these deaths.

Latest data from Department of Health said that a total of 5,073,311 Covid cases have been reported in Australia. Number of deaths is at 6,693. By Thursday afternoon, there were 435,702 active cases in the country.

There were 3,138 coronavirus cases being treated in Australian hospitals including 126 in intensive care units, Xinhua news agency reported.

Over the past week, there have been an average of 49,474 new cases reported each day. The median age of all cases is 30 years and the median age of deaths is 83.

So far, about 69 per cent of the eligible population had received booster vaccines in the country.

On Friday, one state`s strict coronavirus face mask mandate has been lifted after about nine months. People in South Australia (SA) are no longer required to wear masks in most public indoor spaces. The requirement of mandatory Covid tests before entering Australia has been lifted as well.

(With inputs from agencies)