Amid a surge in COVID-19 cases worldwide, several fake and misleading information is being circulated on the internet. Reacting to one such piece of information, the Ministry of Health and Family Welfare on Thursday took to Twitter to debunk a particular message about the COVID XBB variant. The Health Ministry shared a snap of a message which is circulating on WhatsApp groups about the XBB variant and called it “fake” 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.
Meanwhile, In the last six months, India reported four cases of the BF.7 Omicron sub-variant, which is driving the current surge of infections in China. Sources said there are currently 10 different variants of Covid-19 in the country, with the latest being BF.7.
There has been an alarming surge in Covid cases in China, Japan, South Korea, France, and the United States. The spike is being blamed on the new Omicron sub-variant BF.7, which has also been detected in four Indian states. Notably, Prime Narendra Modi also chaired a high-level meeting to review the Covid-19 situation and its related aspects in the county.
Earlier in the day, Union Health Minister Mansukh Mandaviya said that the government has started random RT-PCR sampling among the passengers arriving at International airports in the country amid the recent surge of Coronavirus infection in various countries including China, Japan, South Korea, France, and the United States. “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. (ANI)