New Delhi | The new XE variant of Covid is just another form of Omicron, and its case was detected in January also before recently being found in Gujarat, Union Health Minister Mansukh Mandaviya said on Tuesday.
“The XE variant is a combination or recombinant of both sub-variants – BA.1 and BA.2 – of Omicron.
“No new variant of Covid has been detected this time. This is the only variant which has been found and majorly we have passed the phase of this variant,” he said at a press conference at the BJP headquarters where he spoke in detail about the Central government’s measures to deal with the pandemic since its outbreak in 2020.
Mandaviya also stressed the need to maintain precautions as the pandemic is not over yet. On the question of vaccination drive for below 12 years of age, he said that it is up to experts to decide.
About the precaution dose price which major vaccine manufacturers, SII and Bharat Biotech, have fixed at Rs 225, he said it is the maximum price, and this may still come down due to competition in future as more vaccine manufacturers enter the market.
On India’s fight against the pandemic, Mandaviya said over 97 per cent of the eligible population has been given the first dose of vaccine and 85 per cent both doses, which, he added, played a key role in curbing the severity of the Omicron wave that hit many countries hard.
Mandaviya also announced that under Azadi Ka Amrit Mahotsav a week-long celebration will be held to mark the 4th anniversary of Ayushman Bharat Health & Wellness Centres from April 16 to 22. Block Level Health Melas will be held at more than 1 lakh AB-HWCs from April 18 to 22 to provide screening for early diagnosis of TB, hypertension, diabetes, basic health care services with drugs and diagnostics & teleconsultation with relevant health specialists.
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