New COVID-19 variant JN.1 hits India – What you need to know now

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In a startling development, India has reported 21 cases of the new coronavirus variant JN.1, spreading concern across the nation. NITI Aayog member (Health) VK Paul has confirmed these cases from across the country, with Goa experiencing the highest impact with 19 cases. Maharashtra and Kerala have also reported one case each, sources revealed.

Amidst this escalating situation, Health Minister Mansukh Mandaviya today reviewed the COVID-19 scenario, focusing on the public health systems’ preparedness. “The emergence of new and evolving coronavirus strains necessitates heightened alertness and preparedness,” Mr Mandaviya emphasized, as stated by the Health and Family Welfare Ministry. He stressed the need for smooth Centre-states coordination to manage the situation effectively, proposing regular mock drills and the sharing of best practices.

Rising Concern as JN.1 Variant Emerges in India: Goa, Maharashtra, Kerala Affected

Rising Concern as JN.1 Variant Emerges in India: Goa, Maharashtra, Kerala Affected

Health Ministry’s Vigilance Amidst Rising Cases

The Health Minister underlined the ongoing threat of COVID-19, urging states to closely monitor the evolving situation. Health Ministry secretary Sudhansh Pant presented data showing a significant increase in active COVID-19 cases in India, jumping from 115 on December 6 to 614 on December 20. Despite this surge, most cases (92.8%) are in home-isolation, indicating mild illness, and there has been no notable rise in hospitalization rates. Mr Pant noted that the hospitalized cases are primarily due to other medical conditions, with COVID-19 being an incidental finding. However, an increase in the daily positivity rate has been observed in states like Kerala, Maharashtra, Jharkhand, and Karnataka.

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The JN.1 Variant: Under Scrutiny but Not a Cause for Immediate Concern

The JN.1 variant, now under intense scientific examination, has not yet been flagged as a cause for immediate concern. No significant clustering of cases due to the JN.1 variant has been observed in India. All reported cases were mild, with patients recovering without complications. This revelation offers some reassurance amidst the rising anxiety over the new variant.

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As India grapples with the evolving pandemic situation, the government’s focus remains on vigilance and preparedness. The public is advised to stay informed and adhere to health guidelines to navigate through this challenging phase in the pandemic.

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