A new COVID-19 subvariant — which has genetic information from both the B.A.1 and B.A. 2 omicron sublineages — has been detected from a patient in Sendai, the health ministry said Thursday.

It marks the first case of a recombinant variant being found within Japan. The XE subvariant, another recombinant virus, was detected during an airport screening earlier this month.

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