COVID-19 sub-variant JN.1 jumps to 157, sparks concern

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India recorded 702 fresh cases of COVID-19 in the last 24 hours, taking the total tally of active cases to 4,097 as per the data. In the same time span, six deaths have been reported in the country – two in Maharashtra, and one each in Delhi, Karnataka, Kerala, and West Bengal.

Meanwhile, the cases of COVID-19 sub-variant of JN.1 has been jumped to 157 in the country, with Kerala reporting the highest number of 78, followed by Gujarat at 34, according to the INSACOG’s data updated on Thursday. Several states have been reporting an uptick in the number of Covid cases over the last few weeks and nine states and Union territories have so far detected the presence of the JN.1 sub-variant of the virus.

These states are — Kerala (78), Gujarat (34), Goa (18), Karnataka (eight), Maharashtra (seven), Rajasthan (five), Tamil Nadu (four), Telangana (two) and Delhi (one), according to the Indian SARS-CoV-2 Genomics Consortium (INSACOG). The INSACOG’s data showed 141 Covid cases recorded in the country in December had the presence of JN.1, while 16 such cases were detected in November.

The number of people who recuperated from the infection stands at over 4.4 crore with a national recovery rate of 98.81 per cent. As per the data, 220.67crore doses of Covid vaccines have so far been administered in the country.

Meanwhile, Delhi health minister Saurabha Bhardwaj on Thursday said he has reiterated directions for carrying out genome sequencing of positive cases so that cases of JN.1 variant can be confirmed. He had confirmed on Wednesday confirmed Delhi’s first case of JN. 1 variant. He said that there are no new cases of JN.1 subvariant of COVID in Delhi at present after one patient infected with the virus was discharged on Thursday.

“I have reiterated the directions for genome sequencing of all the positive cases, so that the number of cases of new variants can be confirmed. Yesterday, three variants were confirmed, of which two were of the old Omicron variant and the new one is JN.1 variant. The good thing is that the patient diagnosed with the new variant, who was hospitalised, has been discharged,” Mr Bhardwaj said.