Covid news LIVE updates: India reports 328 Covid cases; Kerala tops with 265 infections

22 Dec 2023, 10:08 AM IST
Covid news LIVE: Isolation ward, other arrangements tightened at Dehradun\’s hospital

After cases of a new variant of Corona were found in many states including Kerala, isolation wards and other arrangements have been tightened at the Government hospital of Doon Medical College in Uttarakhand.

At present 5893 oxygen support isolation beds and more than 3100 trained paramedical staff are available in the state.

Anurag Aggarwal, Nodal Officer of Doon Medical College and Covid-19, said that there is no need for anyone to panic as per the advisory that has come.

\”As per the latest advisory, we need not panic. The only requisite right now is to get tested as soon as you catch the flu. We will increase testing for the new variant and will also keep updating the number of patients on the portal,\” he said.

22 Dec 2023, 09:46 AM IST
Covid news LIVE: Kerala records 265 new COVID-19 cases, one death

Covid news LIVE: Kerala reported 265 fresh COVID-19 infections and one death due to the disease in the last 24 hours, according to data on the Union Health Ministry website on Friday.

Of the 328 coronavirus infections reported nationwide till 8 am today, 265 were from Kerala, taking the active cases in the state to 2,606, as per the website.

With one death reported in the state, the total number of people who have died due to coronavirus in Kerala since its outbreak three years ago reached 72,060.

22 Dec 2023, 09:01 AM IST
Covid news LIVE: Bilaspur Chief Medical and Health Officer shares update on Covid situation 

On Covid-19 situation, Bilaspur Chief Medical and Health Officer Rajesh Shukla said, \”Till now, 136 people have been tested. One of them has been tested positive in the RTPCR test. The patient had a cough and cold for a few days… The sample will be sent to AIIMS Raipur to test if the variant is new or old… The patient has a travel history. He had travelled back from Mumbai…\”

22 Dec 2023, 08:49 AM IST
Covid news LIVE: Watch | Isolation ward tightened at Dehradun Government hospital

Covid news LIVE updates: Isolation ward and other arrangements tightened at Government hospital of Doon Medical College after new cases of COVID-19 variant JN.1 are found in few states. CMS, Doon Hospital, Anurag Agarwal said, “As per the latest advisory, we need not panic. The only requisite right now is to get tested as soon as you catch the flu. We will increase testing for the new variant and will also keep updating the number of patients on the portal… An oxygen ward of 20 beds has been prepared for COVID-19 and an ICU ward of 09 beds has also been reserved for COVID… The new variant is not very different from the previous variant but those suffering from cancer, sugar, kidney and heart were advised to be more careful with this variant.\”

22 Dec 2023, 08:47 AM IST
Covid news LIVE: JN.1 Covid variant: After Karnataka, Chandigarh urges people to wear masks

The Chandigarh administration has advised people to wear masks in the wake of the spread of the JN.1 sub-variant of Covid-19, Hindustan reported on Thursday. The administration made it mandatory for attendants, doctors and other hospital staff to wear masks in hospitals. It also advised people to avoid crowded areas as much as possible. Read more here

22 Dec 2023, 08:36 AM IST
Covid news LIVE: From Alpha to JN.1, all you need to know about emerging variants

COVID-19 Sub Variant JN: Viruses, including the SARS-CoV-2 coronavirus responsible for the COVID-19 pandemic, undergo frequent mutations. While many genetic alterations are inconsequential, some can enhance the virus\’s ability to infect cells or evade antibodies. Read more here

22 Dec 2023, 08:25 AM IST
Covid news LIVE: Singapore reported 965 COVID-19 cases in past week

Covid news LIVE updates: The number of fresh COVID-19 cases in Singapore jumped to 965 in the past week, up from 763 the previous week. The number of patients admitted to intensive care units (ICU) went up from 23 to 32 in the same period. These are the highest numbers of new weekly hospitalisation and ICU admission for COVID-19 patients in 2023, TODAY newspaper reported on Thursday. Most COVID-19 patients here are infected by JN.1, a sublineage of the coronavirus\’ Omicron subvariant BA.2.86. With the JN.1 variant, winter conditions in the northern hemisphere and more people choosing not to wear masks have fueled the increase in COVID-19 cases, TODAY, citing experts, reported. (PTI)

22 Dec 2023, 08:24 AM IST
Covid news LIVE: Maharashtra CM chairs COVID review meet, says govt fully prepared to tackle situation

Covid news LIVE updates: Maharashtra Chief Minister Eknath Shinde on Thursday held a meeting to review the COVID-19 situation in the state in view of the detection of the JN.1 sub variant in some parts of the country.

The state was fully prepared to tackle the situation and people must not panic but should take precautions, especially due to the upcoming festival and new year season, Shinde said.

In his address after the meeting that he chaired through video conferencing, Shinde said the symptoms of the new sub variant were mild but it seems to spread faster.

During the meeting, the CM was informed that Maharashtra has 63,000 isolation beds to tackle the ailment, a release by the Thane district information office said.

22 Dec 2023, 08:23 AM IST
Covid news LIVE updates: Gurugram health dept swings into action after corona confirmed in woman

Covid news LIVE updates: The health department here has swung into action after corona was confirmed in a woman, who returned from abroad.

The department on Thursday identified 62 suspected patients, who came to the OPD of the civil hospital and the primary health centers, said an official.

After identifying them, the samples of all were taken and sent to the lab for testing. Reports of all the suspected patients will come from the lab on Friday. It was a matter of relief that no new Covid patient was found in the last 24 hours.

A senior officer of the health department said that samples of 22 patients were taken from the antigen kit. The reports of 10 patients are yet to come from the government lab.

District Surveillance Officer Dr Jai Prakash Rajliwal said that the infected female patient is undergoing treatment in home isolation.

22 Dec 2023, 07:55 AM IST
Covid news LIVE: ‘Let\’s not take the virus lightly as…,’ ex-WHO official Soumya Swaminathan warns as cases surge

With JN.1 variant fueling another COVID surge in India, Dr Soumya Swaminathan, former WHO chief scientist, said that the new strain should not be dismissed as a ‘common cold’ and warned saying ‘let\’s not take things lightly’ this time. Read more here

22 Dec 2023, 07:52 AM IST
Covid news LIVE updates: Noida man tests positive for Covid, first case in several months

Covid news LIVE updates: A Noida resident has tested positive for Covid, in a first case of the infection in Uttar Pradesh\’s Gautam Buddh Nagar after several months, officials said on Thursday.

The patient is a 54-year-old male who lives in Noida but works at a multinational company in Gurugram, Gautam Buddh Nagar Chief Medical Officer Dr Sunil Sharma said.

\”His test sample has been sent to Delhi for genome sequencing. The result is awaited,\” Sharma said.

District Surveillance Officer and public healthcare expert Dr Amit Kumar said the patient travelled to Nepal earlier this month and also went to work at his Gurugram office after returning.

\”The patient is asymptomatic and went for the COVID-19 test on his own,\” Kumar said, adding that this is the only confirmed case in Gautam Buddh Nagar so far.

22 Dec 2023, 07:23 AM IST
Covid news LIVE updates: Risk is low, no restrictions now\”: Karnataka Health Minister Dinesh Gundurao

Covid news LIVE updates: In response to the evolving situation of COVID cases in the state, Karnataka Health Minister Dinesh Gundurao provided reassurance to the people and said that the risk factor is low adding that there are no restrictions at present.

\”The virus does not have a severe impact on the health of people. The risk is low, so you need not panic, there are no restrictions now,\” the Health Minister asserted.

Minister Gundurao emphasized that there are currently no limitations on movement, stay, travel, or public functions.

However, he urged individuals aged 60 and above to exercise caution and wear masks in crowded places.

\”We are looking into all the aspects. There is no such concern as of now. There is no restriction on movement, stay, travel or functions. People above 60 years of age should be cautious and wear masks in crowded places,\” he added.

22 Dec 2023, 07:22 AM IST
Covid news LIVE updates: 4 JN.1 variant cases found in Rajasthan; health dept issues advisory

Covid news LIVE updates: Two more Covid cases of the new sub-variant were reported in Rajasthan on Thursday, which took the tally of such cases in the state to four, prompting the health department to issue an advisory for the prevention and control of the infection.

The Rajasthan Health and Medical Department advised people to seek timely medical advice in case of mild cold, cough, fever, or sore throat.

According to an official statement, two Covid cases of the JN.1 sub-variant were reported in Jaisalmer on Wednesday.

Two more cases of the same Covid sub-variant were reported in Jaipur on Thursday. One of them is a native of Jhunjhunu and another hails from Bharatpur, the statement added.

22 Dec 2023, 07:21 AM IST
Covid news LIVE updates: Karnataka reports 24 fresh cases

Covid news LIVE updates: Karnataka on Thursday reported 24 fresh COVID-19 cases taking the cumulative figure since the outbreak of the virus to 40,89,174, the health department said. With the COVID recurring in some parts, the state government intensified tests.

22 Dec 2023, 07:09 AM IST
Covid news LIVE updates: JN.1 sub variant in Goa: 19 samples found, all old, inactive cases, says health official

Covid news LIVE updates: The JN.1 sub variant of COVID-19 was found in 19 samples that were tested over a period of time, but these are old cases and are no longer active, a top health official said on Thursday.

The first case of this variant was found in Kerala on December 8, after which the Centre urged states and union territories to maintain constant vigil, including monitoring and reporting district-wise cases of Influenza-like Illness (ILI) and Severe Acute Respiratory Illness (SARI) in all health facilities regularly for early detection.

\”All the 19 cases of JN.1 sub variant traced in Goa are not active. They are old cases and have crossed the window period. This variant was found during genome sequencing of samples collected from patients,\” state epidemiologist Dr Prashant Suryavanshi told PTI.

22 Dec 2023, 07:08 AM IST
Covid news LIVE updates: ‘No plan to make Covid testing mandatory at airports as of now’, says health ministry sources

Covid news LIVE updates: There is no plan so far to make RT-PCR testing for COVID-19 mandatory at airports for travellers, Union health ministry sources said on Thursday, amid an uptick in coronavirus infections in India.

Even though the number of cases is rising and the JN.1 sub-variant has been detected in the country, there is no cause of immediate concern as 92 per cent of those infected are opting for home-based treatment, indicating mild illness, they said.

There is also no increase in hospitalisation rates and COVID-19 is an incidental finding in people hospitalised due to other medical conditions.

22 Dec 2023, 07:03 AM IST
Covid news LIVE updates: JN.1 variant is fast spreading; vulnerable for older people with multiple comorbidities: Health expert

IMA COVID Task Force Dr Rajeev Jayadevan said that the new strain can be problematic for people of old age and those with multiple comorbidities.

\”JN.1 is a fast-spreading variant, it could go into the next tier of the population, which is the vulnerable age group, older people and also people with multiple comorbidities. In such individuals, their underlying conditions can destabilise and could result in their hospitalisation and complications after that,\” the health expert said. He said a spike in the number of COVID-19 cases has been seen from November.

Dr Jayadevan said that, however, people, suffering from COVID-19, are not requiring the need to be hospitalised.

\”Fortunately, most of these people are not requiring hospitalisation that\’s because most of the COVID cases are now occurring in the people who are travelling and who are well enough to go to work,\” he said.

\”Many people confuse COVID for the common cold. It\’s very different, COVID-19 can affect the health of our blood vessels, especially if it comes again and again. So while we can get common colds again and again,\” he explained

The health expert also said that it\’s better to take precautions rather than getting COVID-19 infection.

\”COVID-19 is best avoided, even if the initial symptoms are mild. The reported numbers will be an underestimate because very little testing is actually going on,\” he said.

22 Dec 2023, 06:58 AM IST
Covid news LIVE updates: JN.1 Covid variant: Experts allay fears, cite low public health risk

The emergence of the JN.1 Covid variant and India reporting 21 cases is neither surprising nor particularly worrying, say scientists, allaying fears but also advising adherence to existing precautionary measures.

The announcement on Wednesday about the increasing numbers of the new sub-variant, detected in three states, came as the Union Health Ministry reported a spike in cases. On Thursday, the count was 594 new coronavirus infections, marginally lower than Wednesday\’s 614, which was the highest daily count since May 21.

As panic spread and Covid came under the spotlight again, experts stepped in to say there is no need to panic – available treatments are effective, the infection is mild and all viruses mutate.

“As it happens with most respiratory viruses, including the influenza viruses, the circulating viruses keep changing. Therefore, a sub-variant of SARS CoV-2 is not a surprise at all,\” Chandrakant Lahariya, a senior consultant physician and public health expert, told PTI.

The SARS-CoV-2 virus is circulating in all settings, he said.

22 Dec 2023, 06:51 AM IST
Covid news LIVE updates: Former WHO chief advises precautions to avoid infection

Covid news LIVE updates: Dr Soumya Swaminathan has advised precautions to avoid infection, \”Avoid being in a very closed environment with very poor ventilation with toxic people without a mask. So do wear a mask if you\’re in that type of very close setting because prolonged exposure to somebody infected increases the risk of infection,\” she said while speaking to news agency ANI.

\”Try to be in an open space rather than in most cases, have gatherings and now ventilated places today, entering into the season of gatherings,\” said Swaminathan.

\”If you have some warning symptoms and signs like severe fatigue, prolonged fever or you\’re feeling breathless, visit the hospital,\” she said.

22 Dec 2023, 06:46 AM IST
Covid news LIVE updates: ‘Need to be cautious, not panic’: Dr Soumya Swaminathan on new Covid variant scare

Amid the rising new JN.1 Covid-19 variant scare, former World Health Organisation (WHO) chief scientist Dr Soumya Swaminathan asserted that there is no need to panic currently as it is a variant of interest and not of concern.

However, she urged people to be cautious by taking proper precautionary measures.

Speaking to ANI exclusively, Dr Soumya Swaminathan, former DG, of the Indian Council of Medical Research (ICMR) said, \”We need to be cautious, but we don\’t need to worry because we don\’t have any data to suggest that this variant JN.1 is more severe or it\’s going to cause more pneumonia, more death.\”

\”I think what we need to do is try to take the normal preventive measures that we are all now familiar with. We were familiar with Omicron, so it\’s the same family. So not much has changed, but 1 or 2 new mutations have come up. And that\’s why I think WHO has said let\’s keep a watch on it. It\’s a variant of interest. It\’s not a variant of concern,\” said the doctor.

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