JN.1 subvariant cause for concern in some Indian states

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NEW DELHI, Dec 21, (Agencies): In India, the count of active COVID-19 cases has exceeded the 2,000 mark in the state of Kerala, while Goa leads in reporting cases of the JN.1 sub-variant ahead of Christmas.

As of 8:00 am local time on Thursday, December 21, the Ministry of Health data revealed a total of 2,669 active COVID-19 cases across the country.

Kerala, witnessing a recent surge, reported 2,341 active cases with 300 new cases and three deaths on Thursday, following the crossing of the 2,000 mark the day before. In the last 24 hours, 211 individuals were either cured, discharged, or migrated.

Health Minister Veena George reassured the public on December 19 that the spike in cases is not a cause for concern, emphasizing the state’s preparedness to manage the virus. Special facilities and resources have been directed for COVID patients, ensuring the availability of isolation wards, rooms, oxygen beds, ICU beds, and ventilators in hospitals.

In Karnataka, amid a surge in infections, two COVID-19-related deaths were reported on Wednesday. As of Thursday morning, the state recorded 92 active cases.

Goa has reported 19 cases of the JN.1 sub-variant, a derivative of BA.2.86, ahead of Christmas. Health officials confirmed that all patients, who had completed seven days of home isolation, were mild cases without admissions or deaths.

Surveillance and testing are set to increase to handle any potential outbreak during the holiday season.

The World Health Organization (WHO) announced on December 19 that it would elevate the classification of the JN.1 variant to a standalone “variant of interest.” Maharashtra has also witnessed a rise in COVID-19 cases, with 45 active cases reported as of Thursday morning.

In Sindhudurg district of Maharashtra, a 41-year-old tested positive for the JN.1 subvariant, causing mild symptoms. Health authorities urged the public not to panic but to take necessary precautions.

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