New Delhi: A total of 157 cases of COVID-19 sub-variant JN.1 have been detected in the country, with Kerala reporting the highest number of 78, followed by Gujarat at 34, according to the INSACOG’s data updated on Thursday (December 28).
India saw a single day rise of 702 cases of COVID-19, bringing the total number of active cases to 4,097, the health ministry reported on Thursday (December 28). Six new fatalities were reported in the past 24 hours: two from Maharashtra, and one each from Karnataka, Kerala, West Bengal, and Delhi, according to the ministry’s data update at 8 am on Thursday (December 28). With this, the total count of coronavirus cases in India since its outbreak in January 2020 stands at 4,50,10,944 and the total death toll due to COVID-19 cases in India has risen to 5,33,346, reflecting an increase of six deaths in the last 24 hours.
Several states have been reporting an uptick in the number of Covid cases over the last few weeks and nine states and Union territories have so far detected the presence of the JN.1 sub-variant of the virus.
These states are — Kerala (78), Gujarat (34), Goa (18), Karnataka (eight), Maharashtra (seven), Rajasthan (five), Tamil Nadu (four), Telangana (two) and Delhi (one), according to the Indian SARS-CoV-2 Genomics Consortium (INSACOG).
The INSACOG’s data showed 141 Covid cases recorded in the country in December had the presence of JN.1, while 16 such cases were detected in November.
Here’s a look at state-wise data:
The national capital has reported two fresh cases of COVID-19, said the Medical Superintendent of All India Institute of Medical Sciences (AIIMS) hospital. Meanwhile, the reports of the positive cases have been sent for genome sequencing to confirm instances of the sub-variant, JN.1, added the Medical Superintendent.
On Wednesday (December 27), Delhi reported its first case of the COVID-19 sub-variant JN.1. Delhi Health Minister Saurabh Bharadwaj urged people not to panic, stating that JN.1 is a mild infection spreading in South India. He said,
Delhi reports the first case of JN.1, a Sub-Variant of Omicron. Out of the three samples sent for Genome Sequencing, one is JN.1, and two are Omicron. JN.1 is a sub-variant of Omicron and is mild infection. This is the one spreading in south India. There is no need to panic. It causes mild sickness.
Mr Bharadwaj visited the Lok Nayak Jai Prakash (LNJP) hospital on Thursday (December 28) to take stock of its preparedness for COVID-19 and asserted that the facility is fully prepared to deal with any exigencies.
Mr Bharadwaj said arrangements for conducting RT-PCR tests have been made outside the hospital and there are modern equipment at the health facility. He said no Covid patient was admitted in the hospital currently. He said,
Following the oxygen shortage that was seen during the Covid wave in Delhi and across the country, the hospital now has piped oxygen supply through a centralised system.
Asked if the Delhi government is planning to reserve any beds for Covid patients, the minister said only four patients are currently hospitalised with the infection in the city. He said,
If you reserve beds, where will those patients who have surgeries planned or have suffered from strokes or heart attacks go? We are monitoring the situation and if need be, will reserve beds. There are only four patients who have been hospitalised.
Amid the surge in cases, AIIMS Delhi has decided to set up a COVID-19 screening OPD in the emergency department. Additionally, 12 beds will be allocated for seriously ill patients.
AIIMS-Delhi Director M Srinivas held a meeting with all heads of departments of the hospital on the contingency measures for seriously ill COVID-19 patients on Wednesday (December 27). In the meeting, policies on COVID-19 testing, the areas to be designated for positive patients, and their hospitalization were discussed.
AIIMS-Delhi has further decided that testing will be done for patients with SARI-like (Severe Acute Respiratory Infections) symptoms.
Every department will make provisions in their designated wards to manage in-patients who test positive for COVID-19, the office memorandum stated.
Another 12 rooms in the new private ward will be earmarked for the hospitalisation of EHS beneficiaries testing positive for Covid, it added.
Meanwhile, Lady Hardinge Hospital in Delhi has reserved 48 beds for the patients. Apart from this, six ICU beds and a ward with 30 beds have also been reserved for Covid patients in the new building of Lady Hardinge Hospital. Additionally, 12 beds have been reserved for paediatric patients in Kalawati Saran Children’s Hospital, which comes under Lady Hardinge Medical College.
In Haryana, Gurugram reported two new cases of the JN.1 sub-variant, bringing the total active cases to 10. Hospitals have been directed to be on alert. A total 12 such cases have so far been reported in Gurugram while two people have recovered from the infection, said an official.
District Collector Nishant Kumar Yadav has asked all hospitals in Gurugram to set up isolation wards, a dedicated section within each hospital’s Intensive Care Unit (ICU), and a separate Outpatient Department (OPD) exclusively for patients having Covid symptoms.
The specialised ICU wards will have adequate ventilators, monitoring equipment, and skilled medical staff. The order stated,
Hospitals are expressly prohibited from denying admission or treatment to any individual displaying symptoms of COVID-19 sub-variant JN.1. It is incumbent upon hospital authorities to ensure the timely admission and provision of necessary medical care in alignment with guidelines issued by health authorities.
Four new cases of the JN.1 sub-variant were reported in Rajasthan, taking the total to eight, officials said on Wednesday (December 27). The state currently has 34 active cases, while two have been discharged, according to the health department bulletin. Dr Ravi Prakash Mathur, Director of Public Health said,
We sent seven samples for genome sequencing, of which four tested positive for JN.1 sub-variant. These patients are from Bharatpur, Jhunjhunu, Dausa and Ajmer.
Karnataka on Wednesday (December 27) reported 103 fresh Covid-19 cases and one death, taking the total number of active cases in the state to 479. Eighty of these fresh cases are from Bengaluru, followed by 8 in Mandya, three each from Ballari and Mysuru, among others.
According to the bulletin issued by the Health department, in the past 24 hours, as many as 87 patients have been discharged after treatment.
Maharashtra recorded 87 new cases and two deaths on Wednesday (December 27). The JN.1 variant count in the state remains at 10. The recovery rate in Maharashtra is 98.18%, with 80,23,456 patients discharged.
Earlier in the day, Tamil Nadu’s Desiya Murpokku Dravida Kazhagam party ‘Captain’ Vijaykanth succumbed to the virus. The party took to its official X handle to inform that Mr Vijayakanth was admitted to a hospital and put on ventilator support after he complained of breathing problems. His mortal remains were brought to his residence and will be taken to the DMDK office shortly.
Widely known as ‘Captain’, Vijayakanth’s life is marked by a successful career in the Tamil film industry. He featured in 154 movies before venturing into politics. While holding a position at Nadigar Sangam (officially known as the South Indian Artistes’ Association (SIAA)), Vijayakanth brought revolutionary changes to the South film industry. He founded Desiya Murpokku Dravida Kazgam in 2005.
The total number of Covid-19 cases in Odisha has risen to eight after three fresh infections were detected, public health director Niranjan Mishra said on Thursday (December 28). All the eight patients are currently in home isolation, he added. Mr Mishra reassured the public that there is no need to panic as no one has been hospitalized in the state thus far. He said,
All districts have increased Covid-19 testing. On Wednesday, a total of 690 samples were tested, with three testing positive.
Citing national statistics, Mr Mishra said 92 per cent of Covid patients are in home isolation, and only those with comorbidities are being admitted to hospitals.
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