New Delhi: India on Friday (December 22) recorded 640 fresh COVID-19 infections while the number of active cases climbed to 2,997 from 2,669 the day before, according to Union health ministry data. The country’s COVID-19 tally now stands at 4.50 crore (4,50,07,212). The death toll climbed to 5,33,328 with one more fatality reported from Kerala, the data updated at 8 am stated. The number of people who have recuperated from the disease has increased to 4,44,70,887. The national recovery rate stands at 98.81 per cent, according to the health ministry’s website.
Amid the rise in the cases, several states have geared up preparedness to combat the spread of the infection.
Andhra Pradesh Chief Minister Y S Jagan Mohan Reddy on Friday said there is no need to worry about the JN.1 strain of coronavirus, which is said to be the cause of a spike in cases across India. He issued this statement following a review meeting with senior officials where he cautioned them to take preventive steps.
Alert the village and ward secretariat system, and the village clinic system for preventive steps. Village clinic staff should be made aware of the steps that need to be taken against the new variant.
Kerala reported 265 fresh Covid-19 infections and one death in the last 24 hours, according to data from the Ministry of Health and Family Welfare. The total number of active cases of Covid-19 in the country was recorded at 2,997.
After cases of a new variant of Corona were found in many states, isolation wards and other arrangements have been tightened at the Government hospital of Doon Medical College in Uttarakhand. At present 5893 oxygen support isolation beds and more than 3100 trained paramedical staff are available in the state. Anurag Aggarwal, Nodal Officer of Doon Medical College and Covid-19, said that there is no need for anyone to panic as per the advisory that has come. He said,
As per the latest advisory, we need not panic. The only requisite right now is to get tested as soon as you catch the flu. We will increase testing for the new variant and will also keep updating the number of patients on the portal.
Mr Aggarwal added,
An oxygen ward of 20 beds has been prepared for Covid-19 and an ICU ward of 09 beds has also been reserved for Covid. The new variant is not very different from the previous variant but those suffering from cancer, sugar, kidney and heart were advised to be more careful with this variant.
Meanwhile, former World Health Organisation (WHO) chief scientist Dr Soumya Swaminathan asserted that there is no need to panic currently as it is a variant of interest and not of concern. However, she urged people to be cautious by taking proper precautionary measures.
Speaking to ANI exclusively, Dr Soumya Swaminathan, former DG, of the Indian Council of Medical Research (ICMR) said,
We need to be cautious, but we don’t need to worry because we don’t have any data to suggest that this variant JN.1 is more severe or it’s going to cause more pneumonia, more death. I think what we need to do is try to take the normal preventive measures that we are all now familiar with. We were familiar with Omicron, so it’s the same family. So not much has changed, but 1 or 2 new mutations have come up. And that’s why I think WHO has said let’s keep a watch on it. It’s a variant of interest. It’s not a variant of concern.
She further advised precautions to avoid infection,
Avoid being in a very closed environment with very poor ventilation with toxic people without a mask. So do wear a mask if you’re in that type of very close setting because prolonged exposure to somebody infected increases the risk of infection. Try to be in an open space rather than in most cases, have gatherings and now ventilated places today, entering into the season of gatherings.
The total number of active cases of Covid-19 in the country stood at 2,669.
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.
(With inputs from ANI and PTI)
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