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Manipur Reports first Case of JN.1 Sub-variant of COVID-19

In Nation, News
December 29, 2023

Manipur reported a fresh case of COVID-19 after a prolonged period without new infections. The infected individual, who hails from Paomata in Senapati district, had travelled from Delhi to Dimapur by air and subsequently from Dimapur to Senapati by road. The exact virus variant remains undetermined, as samples have been sent for genome sequencing to ascertain more details.

Authorities are closely monitoring the – situation to prevent any potential spread of the virus. The surge in COVID-19 cases has become a new concern in the country with the emergence of sub-variant JN.1 and various states reporting fresh cases.

According to Union Health Ministry data, India in the last 24 hours recorded 692 fresh cases of Covid-19. The active caseload increased by four, reaching ,097. The official data stated that Six deaths were reported in the last 24 hours – two in Maharashtra and one each in Delhi, Karnataka, Kerala and. West Bengal.

Since, the outbreak of coronavirus in January 2020, the total count has reached 4,50,10,944. The total death toll in India has risen to 5,33,946. Amid the rise in COVID-19 cases due to the JN.1 sub-variant in various states, after AIIMS, Safdarjung Hospital in the national capital has also reserved beds for patients and made other arrangements including oxygen and testing.

The hospital administration has reserved 50 beds for isolations, and 9 ICU beds. Apart from this, complete arrangements have also been made in the hospital regarding oxygen, PPE kits, and COVID testing. Senior pulmonologist and former Safdarjung Hospital HOD, Dr Neeraj Gupta, said, “JN.1 is a variant of Omicron. It is a very mild virus. The only advantage this virus has because of this mutation is that it crosses our immune barriers and is able to infect us with a normal infection. Like any viral infection, this is also mild; it is not of a very severe nature, and we are not expecting any admissions or higher admission rates.”

He further said that normally, patients with comorbidities or any severe condition that decreases the immune system are going to have more morbidity, which may lead to mortality. “We had one patient of Covid, which was rapid antigen positive when the patient got admitted, and now the patient is negative, so we don’t really know whether it’s genuine or not, but we are testing all the patients who are suspected of Covid-like symptoms, and still now we have not detected any,” Dr Gupta said.

The World Health Organization (WHO) recently classified JN.1 as a variant of interest, distinct from its parent lineage BA.2.86. However, the global health body emphasised that the overall risk posed by JN.1 remains low based on current evidence.