India Records 752 New COVID Cases, 4 Deaths in 24-Hrs; JN.1 Variant of Concern Raises Alarm
India Records 752 New COVID Cases, 4 Deaths in 24-Hrs; JN.1 Variant of Concern Raises Alarm

NEW DELHI: India has recorded 752 fresh COVID-19 cases within the last 24 hours, marking the highest daily count since May 21, 2023, as per the latest update from the Union Health Ministry on Saturday. The country's active cases have risen to 3,420, contributing to an overall COVID case tally of 450,07,964.

Within this time frame, the nation witnessed four new deaths, as reported in data updated at 8 am, bringing the total death toll to 5,33,332. Among these fatalities, two were from Kerala, and one each from Rajasthan and Karnataka.

Recoveries from the virus have surged to 444,71,212, signifying a national recovery rate of 98.81 percent, while the fatality rate stands at 1.19 percent, as disclosed by the health ministry. To date, the country has administered 220.67 crore vaccine doses, as per the ministry's website.

This uptick in cases follows the World Health Organization's classification of the new JN.1 Covid strain as a 'Variant of Concern.' As of December 21, India has reported 22 cases of this COVID-19 JN.1 variant. The initial case of the JN.1 variant was reported in a southern state, which recorded 265 new infections and one death in a single day. No clustering of cases has been reported so far, with mild symptoms observed in all JN.1 subvariant cases.

The health body recently categorized JN.1 as a variant of interest, separate from its parent lineage, BA.2.86. However, based on current evidence, the global health body highlighted that the overall risk posed by JN.1 remains low.

In response to the emergence of the new Covid variant JN.1, the Serum Institute of India based in Pune is gearing up to potentially sell vaccines to combat a potential surge in the pandemic. The Serum Institute, renowned as the world's largest vaccine manufacturer, is reportedly seeking authorization for a vaccine targeting the JN.1 Covid variant.

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