Kerala reports 3 deaths and 300 new COVID-19 cases

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Three people died of COVID-19 and 300 new cases were reported in the Indian state of Kerala on Wednesday.

INDIA, Kerala, Dec 21: On Wednesday, Kerala reported three COVID-19 fatalities and 300 new cases. In neighboring Karnataka, the situation is growing worrisome as cases are expected to surpass 100, particularly in the state capital, Bengaluru. Authorities in Bengaluru have sent 17 samples for genome sequencing to confirm the presence of the JN.1 variant, with results expected in five days.

Over the last 20 days, Bengaluru has reported 42 positive COVID cases, with three deaths recorded. However, sources clarified that all individuals had other critical health conditions. Authorities are increasingly concerned about the evolving situation, especially with the upcoming Christmas and New Year celebrations.

In Karnataka, the Department of Health and Family Welfare reported 20 new positive COVID-19 cases and two deaths in the last 24 hours. The total active patients stand at 92, with 72 isolated at home, 20 hospitalized, and seven in the ICU. The positivity rate is 2.47%, and the case fatality rate is 10%.

Nationwide, the federal Health Ministry reported 358 new COVID cases in the past 24 hours, with 300 cases in Kerala. Six deaths, including three in Kerala, were recorded during this period. The country has 2,669 active cases, with the spike attributed to the JN.1 variant.

Union Minister of Health and Family Welfare Dr. Mansukh Mandaviya emphasized the importance of alertness and preparedness against new strains of the COVID-19 virus. He urged states to increase surveillance and ensure an adequate stock of medical supplies.

In response to the surge and the new JN.1 variant, the World Health Organization (WHO) highlighted the evolving nature of the virus and urged member states to continue strong surveillance. Dr. Soumya Swaminathan, former WHO chief scientist, cautioned against dismissing COVID as a common cold, emphasizing potential long-term effects.

Dr. Rajeev Jayadevan, Co-Chairman of the National Indian Medical Association Covid Task Force, expressed concern about the marked differences in the JN.1 variant. He recommended wearing masks in specific situations and advised vulnerable populations to use pulse oximeters.

Health Minister Dr. Mansukh Mandaviya reiterated the need to be alert and prepared against new strains of the virus, urging states to enhance surveillance and maintain adequate medical supplies.

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