India reports first case of JN.1 COVID subvariant

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The Indian Council of Medical Research on Saturday said that a case of  JN.1 subvariant of COVID19 has been detected in Kerala.  Dr Rajiv Bahl, DG, ICMR, said that the case has been detected as part of the ongoing routine surveillance activity by the Indian SARS-CoV-2 Genomics Consortium (INSACOG).

 INSACOG is a network of Genomic Laboratories that has been monitoring the COVID-19 in the country from a genomic perspective and the ICMR is a part of this consortium. As per the revised surveillance guidelines in the context of COVID-19, patients of ILI and SARI are tested for Covid-19 and positive cases referred for Whole Genome Sequencing (WGS).

The case was detected in a RT-PCR positive sample from Karakulam, Thiruvananthapuram, Kerala on 8th December 2023. The sample was tested RT-PCR positive on 18th November 2023. The patient had mild symptoms of Influenza Like Illness (ILI) and has since recovered from Covid-19.

There has been an increasing trend of COVID-19 cases from the State of Kerala since the last few weeks. This has been attributed to an increase in the number of samples from ILI cases being referred for testing. A majority of these cases are clinically mild and recovering on their own at their homes without any treatment.

 A mock drill in all health facilities in States is currently underway to assess their public health and hospital preparedness measures. This activity, which started from 13th December, is being carried out under the overall supervision of the district collectors and is likely to be completed by 18th December 2023. The ministry said that it is in regular touch with Kerela State health department and monitoring various points of entry.

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