Delhi’s lone JN.1 Covid-19 patient has recovered, says minister | Latest News Delhi - Hindustan Times
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Delhi’s lone JN.1 Covid-19 patient has recovered, says minister

Dec 29, 2023 01:58 AM IST

The Centre has directed states to send samples of all positive Covid-19 test swabs for whole genome sequencing

A day after the Delhi government confirmed that the Capital has reported its first case of the JN.1 sub-variant of Covid-19, health minister Saurabh Bharadwaj on Thursday said the 50-year-old patient has already recovered and that there are currently no active cases of the variant in the city, stressing that there is no need to panic.

Health experts have warned against the possible spread of Covid-19 during New Year revelry. (HT PHOTO)(HT_PRINT)
Health experts have warned against the possible spread of Covid-19 during New Year revelry. (HT PHOTO)(HT_PRINT)

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

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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. They have also stressed that the new variant is known to cause mild symptoms with low death rate.

Bharadwaj said of the three Covid-19 samples that were sent for genome sequencing, one returned positive for the JN.1 sub-variant, while the other two reported other variants of Omicron. “The patient has already recovered and has been discharged. She had mild symptoms and there were no complications. Currently, there are no active cases of JN.1 in Delhi,” he said.

The minister added that to keep a check on the new variant, the government has already ordered that genome sequencing be conducted for all samples that test positive for Covid-19. “On Wednesday, we conducted 636 tests and will be increasing or maintaining this count for the coming days, depending on the number of patients that report flu like symptoms,” he said.

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 the World Health Organisation (WHO), BA.2.86 was classified as a 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).

Dr Ankita Baidya, consultant (infectious diseases) at Delhi’s Manipal Hospital, said the JN.1 variant displays mild symptoms with low hospitalisation rates.

“If we see the recent WHO notification, they have mentioned that it is a dominant variant because it has high transmissibility...But the concern about causing severe disease has not yet been noticed with this virus. The most common symptoms we are seeing are gastrointestinal symptoms, along with upper respiratory tract symptoms like running nose, cold and cough, loose motion or abdominal discomfort, and nausea. These are the common symptoms, along with fever and chills, that are being seen with this virus,” Dr Baidya said.

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

She added, “If somebody suffers these symptoms, they should get tested. High-risk patients who can develop severe diseases must visit doctors and take appropriate medication and treatment as and when required.”

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