India records 21 cases of new Covid variant JN.1

# WHO flags JN.1 as Covid-19 ‘variant of interest’

New Delhi: India has officially recorded 21 cases of the novel coronavirus variant JN.1 across different regions, according to VK Paul, a member of the government think tank NITI Aayog (Health).

Of these cases, Goa has reported 19 instances of the JN.1 variant, while Maharashtra and Kerala have reported one case each, as per reports.

Amid the increasing cases in certain parts of the country, Health Minister Mansukh Mandaviya chaired a review meeting to assess the COVID-19 situation and the readiness of public health systems.

Mandaviya emphasised the importance of remaining vigilant and well-prepared against new and emerging coronavirus strains. He stressed the need for effective coordination between the central and state authorities to ensure the efficient management of COVID-19.

The Health Minister proposed conducting mock drills every three months at both  the central and state levels to exchange best practices in pandemic response.

Furthermore, Mandaviya reminded states that the COVID-19 pandemic is not over, and continuous monitoring of emerging cases, symptoms, and disease severity is necessary to formulate appropriate public health strategies.

Meanwhile, the World Health Organization (WHO) has classified the JN.1 sub-variant of the Omicron strain as a “variant of interest” due to its rapid spread.

While the current risk to the public is considered low, existing vaccines still provide protection. WHO is monitoring several variants linked to Omicron, including JN.1, although none of them are classified as concerning.

JN.1 has been identified in multiple countries worldwide, including China, the UK, India, and the United States.

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