India witnessed a significant rise in Covid-19 cases with 614 new infections reported on Wednesday, marking the highest daily count since May 21. The surge follows the detection of the first case of the Coronavirus sub-variant JN.1 in Kerala. The Indian government’s forum of labs, Insacog, identified 19 sequences of the BA.2.86 descendant JN.1, with one case in Maharashtra and 18 in Goa.
Active cases across the country have climbed to 2,311, according to the Union Health Ministry data. In the last 24 hours, three deaths were reported in Kerala, bringing the total death toll to 5,33,321. Kerala recorded 292 new Covid infections, contributing significantly to the nationwide count.
Health Minister Dr. Mansukh Mandaviya conducted a high-level review meeting with representatives from all states and union territories to assess the health services’ preparedness amid the surge. Mandaviya emphasized the need for a coordinated “Whole of Government” approach and encouraged increased surveillance, effective communication, and regular mock drills in hospitals.
The rise in Covid cases prompted the central government to issue advisories to states, urging them to take necessary measures. States like Uttarakhand, Karnataka, and Rajasthan conducted review meetings to assess their preparedness in tackling the evolving situation.
The World Health Organization (WHO) has designated the JN.1 variant as a “variant of interest,” stating that symptoms are generally mild to moderate. Common symptoms include fever, a runny nose, sore throat, and headaches, with most individuals experiencing mild upper respiratory symptoms.
While the WHO assures that the JN.1 variant does not pose a significant threat to public health, concerns have been raised among healthcare professionals and the public in India. The government emphasizes the importance of vigilance and preparedness to navigate through this phase of the pandemic, urging citizens not to panic but to remain alert.