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Union Health Minister Mansukh Mandaviya on Tuesday chaired a meeting with the key experts and officials of the country on the new 'XE variant' of Covid.

While reviewing the Covid cases in the country, he directed the officials to boost ongoing monitoring and surveillance of new variants and cases.

On the medical infrastructure and resources front, Mandaviya directed officials to constantly review the availability of essential drugs and medicines required for Covid treatment. He further emphasised that the ongoing vaccination drive must be carried out at full pace and all eligible should be vaccinated.

The World Health Organisation (WHO) has issued a warning against XE, a new variant of Omicron, and suggested that it could be more transmissible than any other Covid strain so far. The XE variant is a combination or recombinant of both sub-variants -- BA.1 and BA.2 -- of Omicron.

The meeting was attended by NITI Aayog member Dr V.K. Paul, Health Secretary Rajesh Bhushan, AIIMS Director Dr Randeep Guleria, ICMR Director-General Dr Balram Bhargava, NTAGI chief Dr N.K. Arora and other senior officials of the Health Ministry.

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