First Case of JN. 1 Sub-Variant in Kerala: Health Minister Stresses No Need for Alarm
First Case of JN. 1 Sub-Variant in Kerala: Health Minister Stresses No Need for Alarm

Kochi: Kerala Health Minister Veena George assured the public on Sunday that the JN. 1 variant detected in the state is a Covid-19 sub-variant and does not pose a cause for concern. The identification of this variant is part of the routine surveillance conducted by the Indian SARS-CoV-2 Genomics Consortium (INSACOG), as confirmed by a senior official from the Indian Council of Medical Research (ICMR).

In her statement to reporters, Minister George emphasized, "There is nothing to worry about. That is a sub-variant. It has been detected now. Two or three months ago, it was detected in Indians when they were tested at the Singapore airport." She further clarified, "It exists in other parts of India. Kerala has detected it. As Kerala's health system is so good, we could detect it through genomic sequencing. No need to worry." While reassuring the public, the Health Minister urged individuals with comorbidities to take necessary precautions. She also assured that the government is actively monitoring the situation.

The first case of the Covid-19 sub-variant JN. 1 was identified in an RT-PCR positive sample from Karakulam in Thiruvananthapuram district on December 8, according to Dr. Rajiv Bahl, the Director-General of ICMR. The patient, a 79-year-old woman, had tested RT-PCR positive on November 18 and exhibited mild symptoms of Influenza Like Illness (ILI). The woman has since recovered from Covid-19. INSACOG, a network of genomic laboratories, has been diligently monitoring Covid-19 in India from a genomic perspective, with ICMR being an integral part of this consortium.

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