India logs 614 new Covid cases, highest since May 21; 3 deaths in Kerala | Latest News India - Hindustan Times
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India logs 614 new Covid cases, highest since May 21; 3 deaths in Kerala

Dec 20, 2023 12:33 PM IST

There has been an uptick in COVID-19 cases in some states in the country after the detection of the first case of Coronavirus sub-variant JN.1 in Kerala.

There has been an uptick in Covid cases in some states in the country after the detection of the first case of Coronavirus sub-variant JN.1 in Kerala. Insacog, the central government forum of labs, found 19 sequences of BA.2.86 descendant JN.1 - one from Maharashtra and 18 from Goa.

Fresh Covid cases reported from across the country.(HT File)
Fresh Covid cases reported from across the country.(HT File)

India recorded 614 new coronavirus infections, the highest since May 21, while the active cases have increased to 2,311, according to the Union Health Ministry data updated on Wednesday.

The death toll was recorded at 5,33,321 with three deaths reported from Kerala in a span of 24 hours, the data updated at 8am showed.

Kerala has reported 292 fresh Covid infections and three deaths in 24 hours, data from the Union health ministry website said.

There were 341 new Covid infections reported nationwide on Wednesday with the majority (292 cases) originating in Kerala. This brings the total number of active cases in the country to 2,311, according to information from the Ministry website. Additionally, three new deaths have been reported in Kerala, contributing to a total of 72,056 Covid-related fatalities in the state since the outbreak began three years ago.

The total tally of deaths related to Covid-19 infection stands at 533321 while the number of discharged persons is at 44470346.

Union health minister Dr Mansukh Mandaviya on Wednesday held a high-level review meeting with representatives of all states/UTs on the preparedness of health services in the backdrop of the recent upsurge of Covid cases in various states.

Speaking at the meeting Mandaviya said, "It is time to work together with a 'Whole of government' approach... We need to be on the alert, but there is no need to panic. It's important to be prepared with mock drills of hospital preparedness, increased surveillance and effective communication with people. A mock drill should be done in all hospitals once every 3 months. I assure all support of the Centre to States. Health is not an area of politics."

Earlier, the central government issued an advisory to all the states amid the rising Covid cases and the detection of the first JN.1 variant in India. State governments including those of Uttarakhand, Karnataka, and Rajasthan also conducted review meetings and advisories amid the Covid scare.

The World Health Organization (WHO) has reported that the symptoms linked to the new Covid variant are generally mild to moderate in severity. These symptoms may encompass fever, a runny nose, sore throat, and headaches. The majority of individuals affected by this variant tend to exhibit mild upper respiratory symptoms, and these typically show improvement within a span of four to five days. In certain rare instances, individuals infected with the JN.1 variant may also encounter gastrointestinal issues, resulting in changes to digestive health, the WHO says.

WHO has designated the JN.1 variant of Covid as a "variant of interest." However, the organization has emphasized that this particular strain does not pose a significant threat to public health. Despite the WHO's reassurance, concerns have been raised among healthcare professionals, experts, authorities, and the general public in India regarding the JN.1 variant.

(With inputs from ANI)

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