Numerous false and misleading reports are being spread online amid an increase in COVID-19 cases globally. The Ministry of Health and Family Welfare responded to one of these reports by using Twitter on Thursday to refute a specific claim made regarding the COVID XBB version. The Health Ministry released a picture of a WhatsApp message concerning the XBB version and described it as “false” and “misleading.”
“This message is circulating in some WhatsApp groups regarding the XBB variant of COVID19. The message is fake and misleading,” it said in a tweet. In the image attached, the message that reads, “Everyone is advised to wear a mask because the new variant of the COVID-Omicron XBB coronavirus is different, deadly and not easy to detect correctly.”
Listing out the symptoms of the new variant, it said, “The symptoms of the new COVID-Omicron XBB do not include cough or fever.” “Symptoms like joint pain, headache, pain in the neck, upper back pain, pneumonia, lack of appetite are experienced,” it said.
The message further reads: “The XBB variant is five times more virulent and has a higher mortality rate than it. It takes less time for the condition to reach extreme severity and sometimes there are no obvious symptoms.”
“Let’s be more careful! This strain of the virus is not found in the nasopharyngeal region and directly affects the lungs for a relatively short period of time. Several patients diagnosed with Covid-Omicron XBB were classified as afebrile and pain-free, but x-rays showed mild chest pneumonia,” it further reads.
“Nasal swab tests are often negative for Covid-Omicron XBB, and cases of false negative nasopharyngeal tests are increasing. This means that the virus can spread in the community and directly infect the lungs, causing viral pneumonia, which in turn causes acute respiratory distress. This explains why the Covid-Omicron XBB has become something very contagious, highly virulent and lethal. Caution, avoid crowded places, keep a distance of 1.5 m even in open spaces, wear a double-layer mask, wear a suitable mask, wash hands frequently, even if everyone is asymptomatic (no coughing or sneezing),” the message said.
“This wave of Covid-Omicron XBB is deadlier than the first wave of Covid-19. So we have to be very careful and take several reinforced precautions against the coronavirus. Maintain vigilant communication with your friends and family. Do not keep this information to yourself, share it with other family members and friends,” it further reads.
The sub-variant of the BF.7 virus that is causing the present outbreak of illnesses in China, however, has been documented in India four times in the past six months. According to sources, there are presently 10 distinct Covid-19 types in the nation, with BF.7 being the newest.
Covid instances have increased dramatically in China, Japan, South Korea, France, and the US. The novel Omicron sub-variant BF.7, which has also been found in four Indian states, is being held responsible for the increase. A high-level meeting to discuss the Covid-19 crisis and its associated features in the country was presided over, notably, by Prime Minister Narendra Modi.
In light of the recent rise in coronavirus infections in several nations, including China, Japan, South Korea, France, and the United States, the government has begun random RT-PCR sampling among travellers arriving at international airports in the country, according to Union Health Minister Mansukh Mandaviya.
“We have also started the random RT-PCR sampling among passengers arriving at International airports in the country. We are committed to tackling the pandemic and are taking appropriate steps,” Health Minister Mansukh Mandaviya said in his statement in the Lok Sabha while advising the States to make sure that people wear masks, use sanitizers and maintain social distancing even during the festive and the New Year season.