Centre warns states about the new variant of Covid-19

December 19, 2023 22:26
Centre warns states about the new variant of Covid-19

(Image source from: Indiatoday.in)

Centre warns states about the new variant of Covid-19:- The Union health ministry in India has urged states and Union Territories to closely monitor cases of influenza-like illnesses and conduct proper testing, following a rise in Covid-19 cases in Kerala. The ministry has also requested that all positive samples be sent for whole genome sequencing. In response to the situation, Karnataka, a neighboring state of Kerala, has issued an order for senior citizens to wear masks.

This attention to monitoring and testing comes as a new variant, JN.1, has been detected in Kerala. This variant was also found in a traveler from Singapore to Tamil Nadu, as well as in samples from Goa. The JN.1 variant is a sub-variant of the BA.2.86 (Pirola) variant, which has already been circulating for some time. While JN.1 has only one additional mutation on the spike protein compared to Pirola, it has been closely observed due to Pirola's high number of spike protein mutations.

Despite concerns about its mutations, there is currently no evidence to suggest that JN.1 causes more severe symptoms or spreads more rapidly than other variants. The WHO Technical Advisory Group on COVID-19 Vaccine Composition has assessed that both Pirola and JN.1 can be effectively neutralized by the serum of individuals who have been infected or vaccinated.

Thus, while the presence of the JN.1 variant is being closely monitored, there is currently no indication that it poses an immediate threat beyond what is already being experienced with other variants. Continued vigilance, testing, and monitoring, along with adherence to preventive measures such as mask-wearing, will be crucial in managing the situation effectively.

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