Mumbai Records 18 Of 35 COVID Cases In Maharashtra; JN.1 Variant Raises Testing Challenges

Mumbai Records 18 Of 35 COVID Cases In Maharashtra; JN.1 Variant Raises Testing Challenges

Maharashtra witnesses five-fold rise in terms of cases; doctors fear that patients with more virulent JN.1 strain may not be identified due to lack of testing.

Swapnil MishraUpdated: Sunday, December 24, 2023, 12:33 AM IST
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Doctors suggest Covid testing | Representational Image

Covid seems to be tightening its grip on Maharashtra, with Mumbai emerging as a place of concern. On Saturday, the state tallied 35 fresh cases and 18 of them were from the city. Pune stood second with nine patients followed by four in Thane, two in Kolhapur and one each from Raigad and Panvel.

Doctors have expressed fears that the patients with the JN.1 variant may not be identified due to lack of testing.

Five-fold rise in the number of covid cases

Between December 17 and 23, Maharashtra witnessed a five-fold rise in the number of pandemic cases as compared to the previous week (December 10-16), as per the data provided by the state health department. The weekly positive cases stood at 19 between December 10 and 16, which increased to 103 between December 17 and 23, the data added. Meanwhile, Health Minister Tanaji Sawant said that the worrying situation will be reviewed, and depending on the outcome, it will be decided whether a Covid taskforce needs to be constituted for controlling the surge.

Doctors emphasize increasing testing

Doctors have stressed the need to increase testing to understand the spread of infection as well as the new variant. The JN.1 variant is more infectious and may surpass other variants with its strong immune escape, prompting WHO to label it a 'variant of interest', they pointed out. “We are monitoring Covid cases, including the JN.1 sub-variant at both, the private and public hospitals. A nodal officer at the district level has been appointed to report about those infected with JN.1 on a daily basis. Fresh cases detected even at the taluka level will be monitored and reported twice a day,” said Sawant.

If constituted, the role of a taskforce will be to establish patient management protocols for critically-ill cases. It will also recommend the needs for specialist doctors and healthcare support staff at Covid critical care hospitals besides mapping appropriate drug protocols to maintain uniformity in the line of treatment, Sawant added.

Statistics:

9 patients detected in Pune

4 others are from Thane

2 belong to Kolhapur

1 each are from Raigad, Panvel

19 cases were recorded on December 10 and 16

Figure jumped to 103 between December 17 and 23

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