Updated December 19th, 2023 at 17:48 IST

Health min issues advisory as COVID-19 cases rise and JN.1 variant strikes, Tamil Nadu govt step up

The advisory emphasizes the need for heightened vigilance to curb the spread of the virus and tackle the emerging variant.

Reported by: Isha Bhandari
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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New Delhi: In response to a recent surge in COVID-19 cases and the detection of the JN.1 variant in India, the central government has issued a comprehensive advisory to all states. The advisory emphasizes the need for heightened vigilance to curb the spread of the virus and tackle the emerging variant.

“As the Covid-19 virus continues to circulate and its epidemiology behaviour gets settled with Indian whether conditions and circulation of other usual pathogens, this is of utmost importance that we maintain a state of constant vigil over the COVID situation, right up to the District levels,” the advisory read. 

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High focus on detection of the JN.1 variant 

States are urged to maintain a continuous state of vigilance over the COVID-19 situation, with a specific focus on the detection and management of the JN.1 variant. 

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The advisory instructs states to actively report and monitor Severe Acute Respiratory Infection (SARI) and Influenza-like Illness (ILI) cases on a district-wise basis to enable targeted interventions.

One key directive in the advisory is for states to ensure adequate testing, with an emphasis on an increased number of RT-PCR tests. 

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Additionally, states are encouraged to send positive samples for genome sequencing to laboratories under the Indian SARS-CoV-2 Genomics Consortium (INSACOG).

The JN.1 variant, detected for the first time in India, has raised concerns about its potential impact on the ongoing pandemic. 

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Tamil Nadu govt’s step to tackle fresh JN.1 variant 

Meanwhile, Tamil Nadu Health Minister Ma Subramanian on Saturday said that the government has taken all precautions to tackle a fresh outbreak, if any.

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He said that health department officials have been instructed to implement measures to control the virus's spread and advised them to conduct RT-PCR tests if there is an increase in fever cases in specific areas. These directives are issued in response to the rising infection rates in neighboring Kerala and Singapore.

With inputs from Madhurima Mishra 

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Published December 18th, 2023 at 18:29 IST