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‘XE’ has slightly faster rate of transmission

Izah Azahari

The recently detected Omicron sub-variant dubbed ‘XE’ is a combination of the BA.1 and BA.2 sub-variants, with a slightly faster rate of transmission compared to the BA.2 sub-variant, said Minister of Health Dato Seri Setia Dr Haji Mohd Isham bin Haji Jaafar during the daily press conference yesterday.

The Omicron XE sub-variant is currently spreading in the United Kingdom (UK) and was detected in Thailand recently.

Dato Seri Setia Dr Haji Mohd Isham assured the public that the sub-variant has not been detected in the Sultanate and that the Ministry of Health (MoH) is still monitoring through genomic sequencing surveillance.

“The MoH is continuously monitoring the situation, and so far our neighbouring countries have yet to report any detection of the new sub-variant,” said the minister, reminding the public, especially those overseas, to ensure they have been fully vaccinated with a booster.

“We know that the pandemic abroad is still on-going, and if it persists, this variant is indeed expected to be detected,” added Dato Seri Setia Dr Haji Mohd Isham, noting that one of the efforts of protection is through vaccination. The minister said although the XE sub-variant has been reported by the World Health Organization (WHO), it has yet to be categorised as a variant of interest or concern, and is being monitored.

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