With 40 fresh cases of Covid sub-variant JN.1, the tally in the country has now risen to 109 amid a steady surge in coronavirus infections, news agency PTI reported quoting sources on Wednesday. Meanwhile, the country logged 529 fresh Covid infections in the last 24 hours.
Out of the JN.1 cases, 36 were detected from Gujarat, 34 from Karnataka, 14 from Goa, nine from Maharashtra, six from Kerala, four each from Rajasthan and Tamil Nadu, and two from Telangana, the report stated, adding that most of the patients were kept in home isolation.
Three new Covid deaths were reported on Wednesday with two from Karnataka and one from Gujarat, according to the data provided by the Union Ministry Of Health.
Last week, NITI Aayog member (Health) Dr V K Paul said the new variant was being closely investigated and pressed on the need to ramp up testing and strengthen surveillance systems across states. However, despite the growing cases and detection of the new variant, health experts have maintained that there was no reason to panic or worry as the recent infections have mostly been mild and could be treated at home.
Officials also said there was no increase in rates of hospitalisations and that most cases were being detected when the patients were hospitalised with other medical conditions.
Last week Union Health Secretary Sudhansh Pant last week had urged states to implement required measures and Covid related guidelines and strategies to curb the spread of the infection during the festive season. States have been asked to follow guidelines for revised Covid surveillance strategy as shared by the Union Health Ministry.
States have been urged to ensure effective compliance with operational guidelines for the revised surveillance strategy for COVID-19 shared by the Union Ministry of Health and Family Welfare. The Centre has also urged states to monitor and report district-wise cases of Influenza-like Illness (ILI) and Severe Acute Respiratory Illness (SARI).
At present, the active cases in the country stand at 4,093, the health ministry said.