New Delhi, Dec 21 (The Street Press India) – Dr. V K Paul from NITI Aayog shared on Wednesday that they found 21 cases of the COVID-19 sub-variant JN.1 across the country. He wants to reassure everyone that there’s no need to panic. Dr. V K Paul highlighted that the scientific community in India is carefully studying the new variant. He emphasized the importance for states to increase testing and enhance their surveillance systems.
Paul emphasized that approximately 91 to 92 percent of those infected are choosing home-based treatment. Official sources report 19 cases of COVID-19 sub-variant JN.1 in Goa, and one each in Kerala and Maharashtra. In the last two weeks, 16 COVID-19-related deaths occurred, with the victims having serious underlying health conditions.
The Centre has urged states and union territories to stay vigilant due to a rise in COVID-19 cases and the emergence of the new JN.1 variant. Health Minister Mansukh Mandaviya, during a Wednesday review, emphasized the importance of alertness against emerging coronavirus strains. Union Health Secretary Sudhansh Pant noted that while cases are on the rise, 92.8 percent of them are in home isolation, indicating mild illness.
“No increase in hospitalization rates has been witnessed due to COVID-19. The cases that have been hospitalized were due to other medical conditions and Covid was an incidental finding,” stated Pant. While a rise in daily positivity rate is noted in Kerala, Maharashtra, Jharkhand, and Karnataka, the new JN.1 variant is under scientific scrutiny but not an immediate concern. Officials confirm no clustering of JN.1 cases in India; all cases were mild, and patients recovered without complications.
India reported 614 new coronavirus infections in a single day, marking the highest since May 21. The Union Health Ministry’s updated data on Wednesday indicates a rise in active cases to 2,311.
The World Health Organization has categorized JN.1 as a “variant of interest” due to its rapid spread, although it is deemed to pose a “low” global public health risk.
The JN.1 variant was initially classified as a variant of interest (VOI) within the BA.2.86 sublineages, part of the parent lineage designated as a VOI, according to the World Health Organization on Tuesday. However, in recent weeks, JN.1 cases have been consistently reported in various countries, leading to a significant global increase in its prevalence.