Delhi reports first case of Covid's new sub-variant JN.1 | Latest News Delhi - Hindustan Times

Delhi reports first case of Covid's new sub-variant JN.1; no need to panic, say officials

Dec 28, 2023 05:02 AM IST

A senior Delhi government official said a patient tested positive for the JN.1 sub-variant and the report was sent to the union health ministry

Delhi has reported the first case of the JN.1 sub-variant of Covid-19, senior officials aware of the matter said on Wednesday, but asked people to not panic, noting that the new variant is relatively mild.

Union health minister Mansukh Mandaviya at a Covid-19 review meeting in New Delhi on December 20. (ANI)
Union health minister Mansukh Mandaviya at a Covid-19 review meeting in New Delhi on December 20. (ANI)

Read here: Delhi reports first case of Covid sub-variant JN.1

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A senior Delhi government official, on condition of anonymity, said, “One patient has tested positive for the JN.1 sub-variant. The report has been sent to the union health ministry.”

Delhi health minister Saurabh Bhardwaj asked people to not panic as the variant is known to cause mild symptoms with low death rate. “People must continue to take precautions but there is no need to panic. We are conducting regular mock drills in hospitals to ensure preparedness. People who are vulnerable should avoid going to crowded places,” he said.

The Centre has directed states to send samples of all positive Covid-19 test swabs for whole genome sequencing. The directive comes in a week when cases of JN.1 — a sub-variant of the Omicron variant — in some states triggered concern that it could spark wider outbreaks, but officials have not yet seen any increase in reports of severe disease or in the rate of hospital admissions.

To be sure, since the pandemic entered into an endemic stage following the global sweep of the Omicron variant in early 2022, there have not been any mutations yet that can lead to severe disease or death.

The Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) in the US identified the JN.1 variant as a closely related offshoot of the BA.2.86 variant, which was initially reported from Denmark and Israel. According to World Health Organisation (WHO), BA.2.86 was classified as variant under monitoring (VUM) on August 17 and based on updated information, BA.2.86 and its sub-lineages — including JN.1 — are now being classified as a variant of interest (VOI).

Read here: AllMS Delhi issues guidelines for Covid-19 suspected and positive patients

Meanwhile, the Gurugram district administration on Wednesday asked health institutions in the city to be alert and take steps and create facilities to treat Covid-19 patients.

“To prevent infection from patients with Covid symptoms, a separate OPD should be created in every hospital for screening, testing and consultation,” said deputy commissioner Nishant Yadav.

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