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Updated December 18th, 2023 at 19:58 IST

Bengaluru on ALERT: Masks mandatory for seniors as COVID increases in Kerala | Fresh advisory here

In the wake of rising Covid-19 subvariant JN.1 cases, Bengaluru has been put on alert. Health authorities have made masks mandatory for people above 60.

Digital Desk
Health min issues advisory as COVID-19 cases rise and JN.1 variant strikes, Tamil Nadu govt step up
Health min issues advisory as COVID-19 cases rise and JN.1 variant strikes, Tamil Nadu govt step up | Image:PTI
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Bengaluru on alert: In the wake of rising COVID-19 cases in Kerala, Karnataka health authorities have sounded an alert across the states, especially in the capital city of Bengaluru and made masks mandatory for senior citizens (People above the age of 60) and those with comorbidities. As a precautionary measure, hospitals have been advised to increase the tests among people showing symptoms of Covid-19 subvariant JN.1. Besides, surveillance in border districts with Kerala has also been beefed up, said Minister for Health and Family Welfare Dinesh Gundu Rao.

Are Restrictions on Cards?

When asked if the government is planning to impose any restrictions, the minister added that the situation is being monitored and there is no need for any restriction on the movement and gathering of people as of now. However, people can expect an advisory in the coming days.

"No Need to Worry"

"There is no need for anyone to worry. We had held a meeting day-before-yesterday and our technical advisory committee headed by Dr (K) Ravi had met yesterday and there was a discussion between our officials and experts regarding the measures to be taken," Rao said.

"Those above 60 years of age and those with comorbidities like issues related to heart, and kidney among others, and those with cough, phlegm and fever should mandatorily wear masks. We are communicating this to the public. Also, we have asked our hospitals and health centres to be prepared. There should be more surveillance in border districts like -- Kodagu, Dakshina Kannada, Chamarajanagara -- which share a border with Kerala," he added.

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When asked about potential restrictions on Ayyappa pilgrims returning from Kerala, Rao stated that currently, there are no limitations on the movement of individuals or people gathering. 

Covid-19 subvariant JN.1: Symptoms

The symptoms of Covid-19 subvariant JN.1 include

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  • Fever
  • Runny nose
  • Sore throat
  • Gastro-intestinal issues  

The JN.1 variant of COVID-19 is identified as the Omicron subvariant BA.2.86, also known as Pirola. Despite its resemblance to previous strains, vulnerable populations remain at risk, making precautionary measures essential. JN.1 was initially identified in the USA in September of this year, and recent reports from China on December 15, where seven cases were documented, have raised concerns about its potential for spread.

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Published December 18th, 2023 at 19:57 IST

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