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Pradeep Singh

Even as the Covid-19 cases have hit rock bottom in Odisha, Director of the Institute of Life Science (ILS) Ajay Parida on Thursday warned that the virus outbreak is not in the endemic stage yet and people should keep their guard up.

The ILS Bhubaneswar Director said the fear of Covid has not abated completely and hence, people should not get complacent. "We should continue to abide by the Covid appropriate behaviour,” he said.

On the new variant, Parida said, "There have been several variants of the COVID-19 virus. And, the new XE variant is the recombination of the Delta and the Omicron variants of SARS-nCoV. There can be different types of mutation and we can identify the new virus only through genome sequencing."

"Till the last month, as per the genome sequencing data, India had 100 per cent Omicron variant of Covid-19. But the new variant that has been reported now is termed as XE series... Infection rate of this series of virus is not high as there are less clinical symptoms. So far, there is nothing to fear," he said.

Parida said that the ILS Bhubaneswar is yet to find any case of the new XE variant in Odisha. "As there is simple mutation, severity is less. However, we can't determine the severity of the variant till the case load doesn't increase."

The ILS Director further said due to double dose vaccination in India, the country did not experience any significant effect due to Omicron. “Eligible persons should take the booster dose as a precaution and continue to follow appropriate Covid behaviour to keep the virus at bay,” he added.

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