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Covid-19: India Logs 752 New Cases, 22 Of JN.1 Strain; Govt Says No Cause For Immediate Concern

NITI Aayog member (Health) Dr V K Paul had said that the scientific community in India is closely investigating the new variant but stressed on the need for states to ramp up testing and strengthen their surveillance systems.

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India has recorded 752 new Covid-19 cases in the last 24 hours, the highest in seven months and more than double the number of infections reported yesterday. 

There have been four deaths due to the infection also as against one yesterday.

India added 328 cases and one death yesterday, including 265 cases from Kerala alone. The death was also reported from the southern state.

According to the Union Health Ministry, the active Covid-19 cases in India today stand at 3,420, adding 423 cases to yesterday's figure of 2,997 cases. 

Earlier, the government informed that 22 cases of Covid-19 sub-variant JN.1 have been reported in the country.

The l22 cases have been reported from Goa which has got 21 new infections, while Kerala has got new one case.    

In Goa, no clustering of cases of the JN.1 variant has been seen and all infected people have recovered without complications, PTI reported.

Those infected had mild upper respiratory tract infection with symptoms of mild dry cough, sore throat with or without fever, the report mentioned.

In November, 62 samples were sent to different INSACOG labs for whole genome sequencing for detection of the JN.1 variant, while in December, so far, 253 samples have been sent, the report said.

"A total of 22 cases of the JN.1 variant have been reported till December 21 in the country," PTI quoting sources said.

Patients recovering without complications:

The Kerala case, a 79-year-old woman, has recovered without complications. She had mild symptoms and was the first case of JN.1 to be detected in India. The detection was made on December 8. 

NITI Aayog (Health) on Covid-19 JN.1 variant:

NITI Aayog member (Health) Dr V K Paul had said that the scientific community in India is closely investigating the new variant but stressed on the need for states to ramp up testing and strengthen their surveillance systems.

Even though the number of cases is rising and the JN.1 sub-variant has been detected in the country, there is no cause of immediate concern as 92 per cent of those infected are opting for home-based treatment, indicating mild illness, the officials said.

There is also no increase in hospitalisation rates and Covid-19 is an incidental finding in people hospitalised due to other medical conditions.

In a letter to states and union territories, Union Health Secretary Sudhansh Pant  had underlined the critical Covid-19 control and management strategies considering the upcoming festive season and advised them to put in place requisite public health measures to minimise the risk of increase in transmission of the disease.

Operational guidelines issued to states by Union Health Ministry:

States have been urged to ensure effective compliance of the detailed operational guidelines for revised surveillance strategy for Covid-19 shared by the Union Ministry of Health and Family Welfare.

They have asked to monitor and report district-wise cases of Influenza-like Illness (ILI) and Severe Acute Respiratory Illness (SARI) in all health facilities regularly for early detection of rising trend of cases.

Covid-19 JN.1 variant:

India saw a single-day rise of 640 fresh Covid-19 infections while the number of active cases climbed to 2,997 from 2,669 the day before, according to Union health ministry data on Friday.

The death toll has climbed to 5,33,328 with one more fatality reported from Kerala, the data stated.

The  JN.1 (BA.2.86.1.1), emerged in August in Luxembourg and is a descendant of the BA.2.86 lineage (Pirola) of SARS COV2.

The countries reporting the largest proportion of JN.1 sequences are --France (20.1 per cent,1552 sequences), the USA (14.2 per cent,1072 sequences), Singapore (12.4 per cent ,934 sequences), Canada (6.8 per cent,512 sequences), the UK (5.6 per cent, 422 sequences) and Sweden (5.0 per cent,381 sequences).
 

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