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Kerala: Over 1000 cases of COVID reported since November, says Health Minister Veena George

Kerala has reportedly seen a spike in COVID-19 cases since November 2023. Recently, the ICMR informed that a case of the JN.1 subvariant of COVID-19 was detected in Kerala on December 16.

Kerala: Over 1000 cases of COVID reported since November, says Health Minister Veena George anr
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First Published Dec 18, 2023, 3:47 PM IST

Thiruvananthapuram: Health Minister Veena George on Monday (Dec 18) said that in just 1.5 months, over 1600 individuals in the state received medical diagnoses. There is confirmation that 10 deceased individuals had COVID-19 infection. However, the majority of them suffered from additional severe ailments. The minister stated that Kerala's superior state health services were responsible for finding the novel COVID variant.

Also read: As Kerala sees rise in Covid cases, Karnataka Health Minister orders senior citizens to wear masks

However, the fact that the Omicron JN1 variant was first discovered in Kerala does not mean that it was the first in Kerala. There has been a slight increase in COVID cases in the state since November. The government and the health department are closely monitoring the COVID situation in the state. It is being politicized including the Leader of the Opposition.

"The JN1 sub-variant has a higher prevalence but not a higher severity. Politicization is unfortunate. The reason why Kerala is leading in the number of COVID cases is because of testing here. It is the achievement of the Health Department that it was first discovered in Kerala," she said.

The minister said that 1906 isolation beds were ready in the state and asked not to spread unnecessary fear in the society.

Dr. Rajiv Bahl, the Director General of the Indian Council of Medical Research (ICMR), revealed that a case of the JN.1 subvariant of COVID-19 was detected in Kerala on December 16. This was made during the routine surveillance conducted by INSACOG (Indian SARS-CoV-2 Genomics Consortium).

"JN.1 is a severely immune-evasive and fast-spreading variant, markedly different from XBB and all other prior versions of this virus. This enables it to infect people who had previous Covid infections and also people who were vaccinated", Dr. Rajiv Bahl said.

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