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Updated December 24th, 2023 at 01:24 IST

COVID-19 variant JN.1 HIGHLIGHTS: No need for additional vaccine doses, says expert

India SARS-CoV-2 Genomics Consortium (INSACOG) chief Dr NK Arora said that no additional dose of vaccine is needed against the subvariant at present.

Piyush Gupta
328 fresh Covid cases takes India's caseload to near 3,000, Kerala tops with 265 infections
India saw a single-day rise of 752 coronavirus infections, the highest since May 21, 2023, while the active cases have increased to 3,420, according to Union health ministry data. | Image: PTI/File
9: 44 IST, December 23rd 2023

Amid a surge in COVID-19 cases in India and the detection of a subvariant JN.1, India SARS-CoV-2 Genomics Consortium (INSACOG) chief Dr NK Arora said that no additional dose of vaccine is needed against the subvariant at present.

Speaking to ANI about the current situation in the country, Dr Arora said, "I would say prevention is required for all those who are 60 years of age or older, who are likely to have comorbidities and those who are on drugs that suppress our immunity, like cancer patients. If they have not taken precaution so far, then they are advised to take precaution; otherwise, there is no need for any additional doses."
 

9: 43 IST, December 23rd 2023

"The new COVID variant JN.1 is emerging as the dominant variant. It is spreading because it is more transmissible and has an immune-escape mechanism. The good thing is that cases have increased but there is no increase in hospital admissions or deaths. So, it is a mild variant," says Dr. Randeep Guleria, chairman of the Institute of Internal Medicine & Respiratory and Sleep Medicine and Director Medical Education at Medanta.

 

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4: 54 IST, December 23rd 2023

Jharkhand is prepared to deal with any spurt in COVID-19 cases, although the situation is presently under control, a health official said on Saturday.

No fresh coronavirus cases have been reported in the state since December 18, when two infections were detected in a Jamshedpur hospital, the official said.

"In view of a rising number of coronavirus cases in some states, the Jharkhand health department has already conducted mock drills of functioning of oxygen plants and reviewed the number of beds available with oxygen support, non-oxygen support and those in the ICU as per directions of the Centre," Alok Trivedi, National Health Mission (NHM) Director in the state, told PTI.

India saw a single-day rise of 752 coronavirus infections, the highest since May 21 this year, while active cases have increased to 3,420, according to Union Health Ministry data updated on Saturday.

"No fresh cases have been reported in Jharkhand over the last few days. There are only two active cases in a Jamshedpur hospital. There is no need to panic. We have urged people to take precautionary measures wherever required," he said.

In government health institutions, a total of 21,680 beds, including 11,356 oxygen-supported ones, 5,276 without oxygen support, 1,447 ICU beds and 1,456 ventilator beds are available, according to health department data.

Besides, a total of 122 pressure swing adsorption (PSA) oxygen-generating plants have been established in 93 government and private health institutes.

There are 27 RT-PCR labs in the state. As many as 298 TrueNat machines are available in community health centres of all districts. Besides, 1,30,414 RAT kits are available.

 

(With PTI inputs)

1: 11 IST, December 23rd 2023

Covid 19 JN.1 LIVE updates: The death toll has risen to 5,33,332, with four more fatalities reported, according to Union health ministry figures updated at 8 AM

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1: 06 IST, December 23rd 2023

Covid 19 JN.1 LIVE updates: Bihar government directs all districts and hospitals in the state to increase COVID-19 RT-PCR testing with random testing of arrivals at Patna, Gaya and Darbhanga airports

Image credit: ANI
1: 03 IST, December 23rd 2023

Covid 19 JN.1 LIVE updates: With the spurt of new cases, majorly across southern-India, the Covid case tally of the nation stands at 4.50 crore (4,50,07,964). 

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1: 08 IST, December 23rd 2023

Singapore: The latest wave of COVID-19 cases in Singapore has possibly peaked, and there is no need for additional measures, like wearing a face mask mandate, to be implemented, said Minister for Health (MOH) Ong Ye Kung.

“We might have a slight surge, but I think more or less, we are seeing the peak of this wave,” Channel News Asia quoted Ong as saying on Friday at the soft opening of a health campus at Woodlands in northern Singapore.

However, having about 600 to 700 hospital beds taken up by COVID-19 patients is quite a strain on the system, the minister noted.

“We are a 10,000 bed-strong system. To take up 600 or 700 beds, it's six-seven per cent, which is not small. It's a significant workload on our healthcare workers and our system." "Nevertheless, I think our assessment remains ... that we can withstand this without additional SMMs (safe management measures)," said Ong.

Noting that the estimated infection numbers have come down over the past few days, he said, "The indications are that we have plateaued.” Experts say hospitalisation and the need for intensive care always lag infections, which have been rising for four weeks running – from 10,726 infections in the week of Nov 12-18, to 58,300 in the week of December 10-16.

“We have to remember that severe cases will typically peak after the mild cases peak, so even if the peak cases have already come, we may need to wait a while before the impact on the healthcare system starts to get better,” warned Associate Professor Alex Cook of the National University of Singapore’s Saw Swee Hock School of Public Health.

“Just because the cases dipped does not yet mean the wave has peaked, and the wave isn’t over until cases have come down again,” The Straits Times quoted Cook as saying.

Acknowledging that the upcoming Christmas and New Year holidays will bring chances for the virus to spread, Minister Ong encouraged Singaporeans to exercise personal responsibility by wearing a mask when sick and staying at home and continuing to be up to date with vaccinations.

It is especially important for seniors or those with underlying illnesses to receive their vaccination once a year as they are particularly vulnerable, he added.

Ong said that MOH will work to improve the availability of vaccines by increasing the number of general practitioners (GPs) that administer COVID-19 vaccines and having it be part of the Healthier SG programme.

The seven-day moving average estimated daily number of COVID-19 cases in Singapore has been dropping in recent days, decreasing from 7,730 on December 17 to 6,820 the following day and then 6,530 cases on December 19.

He said many people have asked him to reinstate the mandate to wear masks, especially on public transport.

If it is necessary to do so, Singapore will mandate it, he said, but for this wave, “we can withstand this without additional safe-distancing measures”.

Nevertheless, the minister appealed to everyone, “When you are sick, do wear a mask, do stay at home”.

“If you have to come into contact with someone, then wear a mask.” Ong reiterated the importance of being up to date with Covid-19 vaccination, “at least once a year, especially if you are senior, and have underlying conditions”.

He said this is necessary because the effect of the vaccine wears off in about one to 1.5 years (18 months). (PTI)

1: 01 IST, December 23rd 2023

Covid 19 JN.1 LIVE updates: A multifold spurt in fresh Covid cases was noted in India over the past 24 hours, with Kerala contributing the major chunk of those. A total of 423 cases were reported and of which 266 were from Kerala and 70 from neighbouring Karnataka, Union health ministry data showed. Two deaths were reported in Kerala. The total number of active cases of Covid-19 in the country was recorded at 3,420.

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10: 51 IST, December 23rd 2023

Covid 19 JN.1 LIVE updates: Centre asked states on Friday to send samples of all Covid positive test swabs for whole genome sequencing in order to identify the set of mutations, given the unexpected increase in instances in multiple states.

So far, India has documented 22 infections of Covid-19 subvariant JN.1, resulting in health officials to take steps in order to prevent the virus from spreading. However, no instances of clustering of cases have been reported as of yet, and all cases of the JN.1 subvariant exhibit moderate symptoms, according to officials.

10: 49 IST, December 23rd 2023

Covid 19 JN.1 LIVE updates: So far, India has documented 22 infections of Covid-19 subvariant JN.1, resulting in health officials to take steps in order to prevent the virus from spreading. However, no instances of clustering of cases have been reported as of yet, and all cases of the JN.1 subvariant exhibit moderate symptoms, according to officials.

Given the unexpected increase in instances in multiple states, the Centre asked states on Friday to send samples of all Covid positive test swabs for whole genome sequencing in order to identify the set of mutations.

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10: 40 IST, December 23rd 2023

Covid 19 new variant JN1 LIVE: India saw a single-day rise of 752 coronavirus infections, the highest since May 21, 2023, while the active cases have increased to 3,420, according to Union health ministry data updated on Saturday.

The death toll was recorded at 5,33,332 with four new deaths -- two from Kerala, one each in Rajasthan and Karnataka -- reported in a span of 24 hours, the data updated at 8 am stated.

The country's Covid case tally stood at 4.50 crore (4,50,07,964).

The number of people recuperated from the disease has increased to 4,44,71,212, and the national recovery rate stands at 98.81 per cent, according to the health ministry's website. The fatality rate stands at 1.19 per cent.

The ministry's website stated that 220.67 crore doses of Covid vaccine have been administered in the country so far. (PTI)

10: 05 IST, December 23rd 2023

Latest COVID India News LIVE Updates:

  • Use masks in crowded, enclosed, or poorly ventilated spaces
  • Maintain a safe distance from others
  • Adhere to respiratory etiquette by covering coughs and sneezes 
  • Practice regular hand hygiene 
  • Seek testing if experiencing symptoms or exposed to COVID-19 or influenza-infected individuals
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10: 40 IST, December 23rd 2023

Covid 19 JN.1 India cases live updates: The Gurugram health department has swung into action after a second case of Covid was confirmed here on Friday, officials said.

All adequate arrangements have been made by the health department to check the spread of the disease, they said.

"The situation in the district regarding Covid is under control. All adequate arrangements have been made by the health department," said Dr Virendra Yadav, Civil Surgeon, Gurugram.

According to a health official, a 42-year-old woman tested Covid positive on Friday. The health department did not find any previous travel history of the patient.

The health department said the Covid patient, who has mild symptoms, is being treated in home isolation.

The woman was suffering from a cough and sore throat. All her family members are healthy and do not have any Covid symptoms, the official said.

The first case reported here in several months was a woman who returned from abroad, he added.

District Surveillance Officer Dr Jai Prakash Rajliwal said the district currently has two active Covid patients, both of whom are being treated in home isolation and being monitored by the health department.

The patients are also being guided on the required medication and diet, Rajliwal said.

The health department identified 87 suspected patients on Friday whose samples were taken and sent for testing, Yadav said. (PTI)

9: 38 IST, December 23rd 2023

Covid 19 new variant JN.1 LIVE: The World Health Organization (WHO) reported a staggering 52% surge in new COVID-19 cases worldwide over the past month, totaling over 8,50,000 reported cases during this period. On the other hand, according per the WHO's most recent press release, the number of new deaths has decreased by 8 percent as compared to the previous 28-day period, with over 3,000 new deaths reported.The WHO noted that as of December 17, there were more than 772 million confirmed COVID-19 cases worldwide, and that approximately seven million deaths had been documented since the epidemic began. Furthermore, the organisation recorded a 23 percent increase in total COVID-19 hospitalisations, or over 118,000 new admissions, and a 51 percent increase in worldwide intensive care unit (ICU) admissions, or over 1600 new admissions.
 

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9: 10 IST, December 23rd 2023

Covid cases LIVE: According to the Centres for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC), the COVID subvariant JN.1 accounts for 39% to 50% of cases in the United States as of December 23, as per agency projections. This is an increase from the previously estimated range of 15% to 29% of cases in the country as of December 8.

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