"Situation Under Control": Kerala Health Minister on JN.1 Covid Variant

Kerala Health Minister Veena George on Friday reacted to the new COVID-19 sub-variant JN.1 and said that there is "nothing to worry" about and everything is "under control."

"Situation Under Control": Kerala Health Minister on JN.1 Covid Variant

Kerala Health Minister Veena George on Friday reacted to the new COVID-19 sub-variant JN.1 and said that there is "nothing to worry" about and everything is "under control."

"There is nothing to worry about. We have found a slight increase in the number of COVID cases. A state-level meeting and a ministerial-level meeting were held. We decided to start genomic sequencing back in November," the Kerala Health Minister told reporters.

She further said that the number of tests in Kerala is high when compared to other states adding that the situation is totally under control.

"In November, a 79-year-old woman was found active in JN.1. She's all right now... The number of tests in Kerala is high when compared to other states. The situation is totally under control... We have to expect more cases because the airport surveillance done at Singapore Airport shows that 19 passengers from India were found with JN.1," she added.

Kerala reported 265 fresh COVID-19 infections and one death in the last 24 hours, according to data from the Ministry of Health and Family Welfare.

The total number of active cases of COVID-19 in the country was recorded at 2,997.

Meanwhile, amid rising concerns over the emergence of the new variant of the Coronavirus, former World Health Organisation (WHO) chief scientist Dr Soumya Swaminathan asserted that there is no need to panic currently as it is a variant of interest and not of concern.

However, she urged people to be cautious by taking proper precautionary measures.

Speaking to ANI exclusively, Dr Soumya Swaminathan, former DG, of the Indian Council of Medical Research (ICMR) said, "We need to be cautious, but we don't need to worry because we don't have any data to suggest that this variant JN.1 is more severe or it's going to cause more pneumonia, more death."

The World Health Organization (WHO) recently classified JN.1 as a variant of interest, distinct from its parent lineage BA.2.86. However, the global health body emphasised that the overall risk posed by JN.1 remains low based on current evidence.