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Kerala reports 300 new active COVID-19 cases, 3 deaths

In the last 24 hours, Kerala has reported 300 new Covid-19 cases, bringing the state's active cases to 2341, according to the Union Health Ministry. Nationwide, there are 2669 active cases. The Ministry has heightened vigilance and precautionary measures in response to the rising cases, urging states to conduct more inspections.

Kerala reports 300 new active COVID-19 cases, 3 deaths
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First Published Dec 21, 2023, 9:30 AM IST

In the past 24 hours, Kerala has witnessed a concerning spike in Covid-19 cases, with 300 more people testing positive. The state's active cases have surged to 2341, according to data released by the Union Health Ministry. Alarming statistics reveal three more fatalities in Kerala, contributing to a total of 358 reported cases across the state within the last day. Nationally, active cases have reached 2669.

Responding to the escalating crisis, the Union Health Ministry has intensified surveillance efforts and announced reinforced precautionary measures, extending the vigilance to multiple states effective immediately. In a high-level meeting on Wednesday, Union Minister Mansukh Mandaviya urged states to conduct more inspections, emphasizing the importance of joint efforts between the central government and states to manage the virus efficiently.

Mandaviya underscored the need for heightened preparedness against emerging strains of COVID-19, calling for regular mock drills at both central and state levels to share best practices. States have been instructed to closely monitor emerging evidence of COVID-19 cases, symptoms, and case severity to plan appropriate public health responses.

The Union Health Ministry has also advised all states and Union Territories (UTs) to send samples of all Covid-positive cases to Indian SARS-CoV-2 Genomics Consortium (INSACOG) labs to facilitate tracking of new variants.

Regarding the newly identified JN.1 subvariant, the health ministry assured the public that though it is under intense scientific scrutiny, it does not pose an immediate concern. The World Health Organization (WHO) classified JN.1 as a "variant of interest," emphasizing that current evidence indicates a low risk to public health. Symptoms of the JN.1 subvariant include mild fever, coughing, nasal discomfort, sore throat, runny nose, facial pain or pressure, headache, and gastrointestinal issues.

Sudhansh Pant, secretary of the Union Health Ministry, highlighted that while active COVID cases in India remain significantly lower than the global scenario, there has been a sharp rise in the past two weeks, reaching 614 on December 20 from 115 on December 6. Notably, 92.8% of cases are home-isolated, indicating a mild illness. The ministry emphasized that the increase in the daily positivity rate has been observed in states such as Kerala, Maharashtra, Jharkhand, and Karnataka.

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