Prior to New Year’s celebrations, a Maharashtra minister warns people to be vigilant throughout the following ten to fifteen days due to the COVID-19 pandemic.

Increased coronavirus testing has been mandated by the health department due to the discovery of instances linked to the JN.1 subvariant, according to Sawant.

Tanaji Sawant, the health minister for Maharashtra, encouraged residents and establishments to exercise caution over the next ten to fifteen days in order to stop the coronavirus from spreading ahead of the New Year’s festivities. According to Sawant, the health department has already ordered an increase in coronavirus tests in light of the discovery of cases brought on by the JN.1 subvariant during the COVID-19 surge. He gave these directives amid the COVID-19 pandemic following a daytime COVID task team meeting in Mumbai.

“In order to stop the coronavirus from spreading, people need to abide by the guidelines. Although everyone is happy to welcome the new year, there is a greater danger of it spreading in large groups, he said.

“For the following ten to fifteen days, medical facilities and the general public should remain vigilant to monitor the spread of coronavirus infections. People who are already ill should stay away from these types of events. According to statistics released by INSACOG on Thursday, there have been 157 cases of COVID-19 sub-variant JN.1 found nationwide, with Kerala reporting the highest number at 78, followed by Gujarat at 34.

Over the past few weeks, a number of states have reported an increase in Covid infections, and nine states and Union territories have so far identified the JN.1 sub-variant of the virus. The Indian SARS-CoV-2 Genomics Consortium (INSACOG) lists these states as follows: Kerala (78), Gujarat (34), Goa (18), Karnataka (eight), Maharashtra (seven), Rajasthan (five), Tamil Nadu (four), Telangana (two), and Delhi (one).

According to INSACOG statistics, JN.1 was found in 141 of the 141 Covid cases that were reported in the nation in December; 16 of these instances were found in November.

Despite its fast spreading nature, the World Health Organisation (WHO) has designated JN.1 as a distinct “variant of interest” and stated that it presents a “low” danger to global public health. The international body stated that the JN.1 sub-variant of the coronavirus was previously categorised as a variation of interest (VOI) as a component of the parent lineage that is categorised as a VOI, the BA.2.86 sub-lineages.

Nonetheless, JN.1 cases have been recorded from several nations in recent weeks, and the virus’s incidence has risen sharply worldwide. Due to an increase in Covid cases and the discovery of the JN.1 sub-variant in the nation, the Centre has requested that the states and Union territories keep a continuous watch.


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