India Reports 692 New COVID-19 Cases and Identifies New Variant

India has witnessed a slight increase in COVID-19 cases, with 692 new infections reported in the last 24 hours. This brings the total active caseload to 4,097, a rise of four cases, according to the latest data from the Union Health Ministry.

The country also recorded six new deaths due to the virus, bringing the total fatalities to 5,33,346. These recent deaths were distributed across several states: two in Maharashtra, and one each in Delhi, Karnataka, Kerala, and West Bengal.

The total count of coronavirus cases in India since January 2020 has now reached 4,50,10,944, marking an increase of 702 cases in the past day.

In a significant development, Delhi reported its first case of the COVID-19 sub-variant JN.1, a descendant of the Omicron subvariant BA.2.86, also known as Pirola. Delhi Health Minister Saurabh Bharadwaj stated, “Out of the three samples sent for Genome Sequencing, one is JN.1, and two are Omicron.”

To date, India has detected a total of 109 cases of the JN.1 sub-variant. Despite this, the World Health Organisation has indicated that the overall risk posed by JN.1 remains low based on current evidence.

Following the recent spike in COVID-19 cases, the All India Institute of Medical Sciences (AIIMS) in Delhi has released new guidelines for the management of suspected or confirmed cases. AIIMS Director conducted a meeting with department heads to discuss COVID-19 contingency measures, including testing policies, designated areas for positive patients, and hospitalization protocols.

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