Karnataka News: Govt makes wearing face masks mandatory amid Covid sub-variant JN.1 scare in neighbouring Kerala

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Covid-19 News: Amid the growing scare of Covid-19 subvariant JN.1 cases in Kerala, the CM Siddaramaiah-led Karnataka government has made it mandatory for people above the age of 60, and those with comorbidities, to wear masks. 

Karnataka health minister Dinesh Gundu Rao has informed that they have increased tests among people reporting symptoms of Covid-19 subvariant JN.1. The minister also informed that the state government has increased surveillance in border districts with Kerala. 

The situation is being continuously monitored, and there is no need for any restriction on movement and gathering of people as of now, Karnataka health minister Dinesh Gundu Rao said, adding that the government would come out with an advisory.

"There is no need for anyone to worry. We had held a meeting day-before-yesterday and our technical advisory committee headed by Dr (K) Ravi had met yesterday and there was a discussion between our officials and experts regarding the measures to be taken," Rao said. 

"Those above 60 years of age and those with comorbidities like issues related to heart, and kidney among others, and those with cough, phlegm and fever should mandatorily wear masks. We are communicating this to the public. Also, we have asked our hospitals and health centres to be prepared. There should be more surveillance in border districts like -- Kodagu, Dakshina Kannada, Chamarajanagara -- which share a border with Kerala," he added. 

On whether there will be any restriction on Ayyappa pilgrims returning from Kerala, Rao said, as of now there are no curbs on movement of people or gathering. 

Covid-19 subvariant JN.1: Symptoms

The JN.1 variant of Covid-19 is considered to be the Omicron subvariant BA.2.86 or Pirola.

Covid-19 subvariant JN.1 is not very different from previous Omicron strains with high transmissibility and mild symptoms, yet preventive measures are important as vulnerable populations may always be at risk. 

JN.1 was first detected in the USA in September this year. In China, seven cases were reported on December 15 causing concern about its spread.

The symptoms of Covid-19 subvariant JN.1 include


-Runny nose

-Sore throat

-Gastro-intestinal issues

Covid cases in India: Update

India has recorded 260 new coronavirus infections, while the active cases have increased to 1,828, according to the Union Health Ministry data updated on Monday.

The death toll was recorded at 5,33,317, the data updated at 8 am showed.

The country's Covid case tally is 4.50 crore (4,50,05,076).

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Published: 18 Dec 2023, 03:55 PM IST