Health Ministry confirms new COVID variant after Kerala confirms one case

KOLKATA | Updated: 16 December, 2023 8:46 pm IST

KOLKATA: The Union Health Ministry confirmed the presence of COVID subvariant JN-1 as Kerala reported its first case after the pandemic on Saturday.

The first case was reported following the routine survey conducted by the INSACOG, the health unit set up post-pandemic to study and monitor genome sequencing in the country.

“A mock drill is being held in all the health facilities in the states as part of the regular exercise of Union Health Ministry to assess public health and hospital preparedness,” confirmed the Union Health Ministry.

The health ministry further highlighted that they were in constant touch with Kerala’s Health Authorities to monitor the situation.


The COVID case was detected in an RT-PCR sample from Thiruvananthapuram on Dember 8. The patient had mild symptoms of influenza-like illness (ILI) and has since recovered.

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The rise in COVID-19 cases has been attributed to an increase in the number of ILI samples being referred for testing. However, the ministry highlighted that the cases were clinically mild and were recovering from their homes without any treatment.

The drill started on December 13 and is scheduled to end by December 18, under the supervision of District Collectors.

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