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Efficiency of Kerala's health system helped in spotting new Covid variant, says Minister Veena George

Kerala health minister Veena George has said that Covid-19’s new sub-variant’s presence could be confirmed in the state owing to the high alertness of the state’s health system.

JN.1, a fast-growing sub-variant of Covid-19, was found in person in Thiruvananthapuram. The Indian Council of Medical Research on Saturday confirmed it.

Kerala has been witnessing a spike in Covid cases over the last few weeks. According to the data from Ministry of Health and Family Welfare, out of the 1,701 Covid cases in the country as on Sunday, 1,523 are in Kerala. Four Covid deaths were also reported in Kerala on Saturday alone.

Health department sources said that a total of five Covid deaths were so far reported in the state during this month. Most patients were only having mild symptoms. The number of Covid tests were increased over the last couple of weeks after an increase in cases were noticed.

Health minister Veena George said that there was no need for much concern about the new variant as it was present in the country earlier itself.

“Many persons from India were tested positive for this variant in tests conducted in Singapore airport during the last two three months. The efficiency and high alertness of Kerala’s health system indeed helped in detecting the variant,” she told reporters.

She said that only those with comorbidities need to be concerned.

Health department sources said that the person found to be infected with the new variant was undergoing treatment at a private hospital. He has comorbid factors. But he is responding to the treatment.

(Published 17 December 2023, 10:26 IST)

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