Pune: Officials Urge Vigilance Post Arrival Of Covid Variant JN.1

Pune: Officials Urge Vigilance Post Arrival Of Covid Variant JN.1

According to the World Health Organization (WHO), the new Covid strain typically presents mild to moderate symptoms, such as fever, runny nose, and sore throat

Staff ReporterUpdated: Thursday, December 21, 2023, 05:03 PM IST
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Pune: Officials Urge Vigilance Post Arrival Of Covid Variant JN.1 | PTI File Photo

In response to the emergence of the new Covid strain JN.1, the Pune Municipal Corporation (PMC) has implemented precautionary measures. Passengers arriving at Lohegaon Airport will undergo screening as part of this initiative. PMC officials are also monitoring individuals with influenza-like illness (ILI) and severe acute respiratory infections (SARI).

PMC's Assistant Health Officer Suryakant Devkar highlighted, "As a precaution, we're testing passengers arriving from states with reported JN.1 cases, including 10% of both symptomatic and non-symptomatic travellers."

The PMC has increased daily Covid testing to 300 samples and prepared 1,300 beds, with 674 equipped with oxygen support in case there is a surge in patients, he added.

Preparing for a potential new wave, the PMC recently conducted mock drills evaluating hospital beds, ICU facilities, equipment, drug stocks, and manpower.

On the other hand, in the Pimpri-Chinchwad Municipal Corporation (PCMC), surveillance of SARI and ILI cases has begun, with 1,700 beds on standby.

Dr Laxman Gophane, PCMC Health Officer, stated that four hospitals could resume Covid treatment facilities if a surge in cases occurs in the future.

JN.1 variant observed in wastewater samples

Researchers at the Council for Scientific and Industrial Research – National Chemical Laboratory in Pune, along with partners, detected traces of the JN.1 variant in wastewater samples from two sites in the city, collected ten days apart. However, subsequent samples from these sites did not show traces of the variant, nor did it spread to other locations. The team remains vigilant, conducting further sequencing of wastewater and clinical samples to monitor the presence of the JN.1 variant and any potential emergence of other variants.

Symptoms to look out for 

According to the World Health Organization (WHO), the new Covid strain typically presents mild to moderate symptoms, such as fever, runny nose, and sore throat. Additional symptoms may include loss of appetite, persistent nausea, extreme fatigue, and, in rare instances, gastrointestinal problems like vomiting. Seeking medical advice is advised, particularly if experiencing unusual fatigue or digestive issues.

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