Amid rising COVID cases in the State attributed to the new sub-strain JN.1, Maharashtra Health Minister Tanaji Sawant has advised people not to panic, saying that the healthcare system of the State was fully prepared and geared to deal with any possible situation. However, he did confirm that one patient in the State has been detected with the new Covid sub-strain.
Speaking to reporters on December 21, Tanaji Sawant said, “The State’s healthcare system is fully prepared to deal with the new Covid variant JN.1. There’s no reason for panic. If people develop any symptoms, they should consult a doctor and take the necessary medications. They must also abide by the Covid protocols in the interest of public safety.”
Meanwhile, the State Health Department informed us that regular genome sequencing was being conducted after the detection of the new sub-variant in the State.
“Genetic Sequencing (WGS) is being done regularly in the State. So far, only one patient with JN.1 variant has been found in the State. The patient is a 41-year-old man from Sindhudurg. All people should wear masks where necessary, wash hands frequently and practice Covid-appropriate behaviour,” the State Health Department said.
The department informed further that as per the instructions of the Union Government, a mock drill was conducted from December 15 to 17 at all secondary and tertiary-level health institutions in the State to assess their preparedness for a fresh Covid wave.
“All the districts, municipal corporations and Government medical colleges of the State participated in this important mock drill. The review was conducted in terms of beds, ICUs, facilities, equipment, oxygen facilities, medicine stocks, manpower, manpower training, and telemedicine facilities available in the hospitals of the State,” the Health Department stated in a release.
“Till December 17, 1264 institutions of the State have completed this mock drill and submitted their information. 655 Government Hospitals, 575 private hospitals, 3 Government Medical Colleges, 14 private medical colleges and 5 other hospitals have taken part in this,” it added.
Earlier, on December 20, Union Health Minister Mansukh Mandaviya chaired a high-level meeting amid the rising Covid cases in some States.
While urging people not to panic, the minister advocated greater surveillance, checking and studious observance of protocols amid the ongoing spike in cases.
The recent upsurge has been blamed on the JN.1 sub-strain, with mild fever and cough being among its most common symptoms.
According to officials, the sub-strain is currently said to be prevalent in 36-40 countries and has led to 16 deaths over the last couple of weeks.
While most of the deceased had comorbid conditions, almost 92 per cent of the patients reported to have been detected with the new strain were recovering at home, the officials informed.
The total number of active COVID cases in the country, as of December 20, was 2,311, with the total number of fatalities reported since the arrival of the pandemic in India at 5,33,321, according to the Ministry of Health and Family Welfare.
(with inputs from ANI)