Covid cases in India: In the past 24 hours, 328 active cases have been identified

India witnessed a rise in active Covid cases on Friday, driven by the resurgence of the new variant. According to data from the Union Ministry of Health, the country reported 328 active cases in the past 24 hours, with Kerala contributing 265 cases.

Tamil Nadu recorded an increase of 15 new Covid cases in the same period, followed by Karnataka with 13 cases.

While 16 states and union territories, including West Bengal, Odisha, and Himachal Pradesh, reported no new Covid cases, concerns persist over the emergence of the JN.1 Covid variant. This variant, part of the BA.2.86 lineage of SARS-CoV-2, has been identified in several states, including Delhi, Kerala, Karnataka, Maharashtra, and Goa.

As of Friday’s 9 am data, Kerala has the highest number of active cases, standing at 2,606 out of a total of 2,997 cases. Karnataka follows with 105 cases, and Maharashtra has 53 cases.

The JN.1 variant, first identified in late 2023, has gained attention globally and is projected to constitute a modest yet notable percentage of circulating variants, ranging from 15% to 29% in the United States.

While the World Health Organisation (WHO) has classified JN.1 as a “variant of interest” due to its rapid spread, it is considered to pose a “low” global public health risk.

Rajasthan reported two new cases of the JN.1 sub-variant on Thursday, bringing the total in the state to four. Despite the rise in cases, there has been no significant increase in the hospitalization rate attributed to the new variant. Authorities emphasize that hospitalizations are primarily related to other medical conditions, with COVID-19 being an incidental finding.

The health ministry has issued alerts to states, urging preventive measures, but emphasizes that there is no need for alarm, as virus mutations are a natural part of evolution. Ongoing monitoring and public health measures are crucial to managing the evolving situation.

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