There has been a sudden rise in the number of cases of Covid-19 in India due to the BF.7 strain, which has been identified in four states over the past six months. However, the most common variant in the country is a recombinant XBB accounting for 65.6% of all cases in November.
Due to the emergence of misinformation about the Covid-19 variant, panic has been generated on the internet. The Health Ministry on Thursday refuted a viral WhatsApp message that claimed that the emerging Covid-19 variant is a recombinant XBB.
The Health Ministry’s official Twitter handle called the message “misleading” and “fake news”. “#FakeNews This message is circulating in some WhatsApp groups regarding XBB variant of #COVID19. The message is #Fake and #Misleading.”
The message, which was circulated on WhatsApp, stated that people should wear a mask as the new variant of COVID-19 is very dangerous and hard to detect. Moreover, it made claims that the symptoms of this variant include cough, fever, headache, upper back pain, and lack of appetite.
Viral WhatsApp message claims that the Covid-19 variant is not found in the region of the mouth and affects the lungs for a short period of time. Although some of the patients with this variant exhibited no pain or were afebrile, they were diagnosed with mild chest pneumonia. A number of false negative cases have been reported with the XBB, it claimed.
Dr Shuchin Bajaj, the founder and director of Ujala Cygnus Hospital clearing the air with the Indian Express said that there is no proof supporting the claim that the XBB is more dangerous than the Delta variant. He further stated that the current data does not suggest that the XBB is more virulent than the Omicron strain but less lethal than the Delta strain.
He stated that the emergence of the Omicron variants has led to their ability to transmit more easily. However, they are less lethal compared to the previous strains.