The beginning of January saw a single-day spike of 605 new Covid cases in India. The ongoing case numbers (as of 7th January) stood at 4,002 according to the Union Health Ministry.
COVID-19 became a common nightmare for people worldwide in 2020 and 2021. The global death toll, as reported by the World Health Organization (WHO), was around 3.4 million in 2020. But deep down, we all knew the actual figure was probably far beyond our imagination. 2021 was no different, as the fateful disease continued to remain merciless. Luckily, the next two years came with some relief, with us learning to combat the pandemic better. But as we begin 2024 with fresh hopes, it seems like our fight with the virus is far from over. And we can't stress enough the importance of fast management of the matter to avert a crisis. Especially given that we live in a country with the highest population in the world.
Unlike the previous occasion, though, what we have in our favor this time is prior experience. We are already aware of the measures that have worked to subdue the coronavirus in the past. That in itself is a great start to curating a solid contingency plan to battle its present variants. But, above all, we need to follow the progression of the situation closely. So, here’s an update on the COVID cases in India today that require our full focus.
The COVID-19 Sub-Variant JN-1 is the Culprit
The current tensions related to the rising Covid cases in India and globally are due to a certain JN-1 variant. Being a variation of omicron, it possesses the characteristic of spreading very fast. This has led to the WHO declaring JN.1 as a "variant of interest" (VOI). The virus was initially classified to be under the BA.2.86 sub-lineages (parent lineage grouped as VOI). However, it is slightly different due to the extra L455S mutation in the spike protein. A property that makes it very transmissible.
Symptoms to Identify the COVID Cases in India Today
Dr. Rajesh Chawla believes JN-1 will outdo the other variants and emerge as the dominant one. But the Senior Consultant of Respiratory Medicine at Apollo Hospital has also given us hope. He has labeled JN-1 as a ‘mild’ virus. So, despite the high transmissibility, it is expected to not get severe for most patients.
Are you not feeling your optimal best for the past few days? Then here is a list of the common symptoms to look out for to go for a Covid test:
Loss of smell and taste
The UK’s Office for National Statistics has, however, added two more to the list. They are sleeping difficulties and anxiety.
What We Know So Far On The Number Of New Covid Cases In India
The situation of the coronavirus is slowly intensifying in India. Well, the exact figures may be fluctuating. But from the Covid cases in India graph, the rise is pretty evident. Especially during the last week of 2023 which presented a 22 percent surge. There were reports of 4652 fresh cases during that time which was quite a leap from 3,818 in the week before. Kerala led the way, sharing about 80 percent of the load with 3,018 cases.
Cold weather continues to influence the numbers as we enter 2024. As per recent reports, India is hit with 605 new infections with a total of 4,002 active cases. At the same time, a 7th January state-wise data also showed Karnataka taking the top spot from Kerala.
Karnataka - 199 cases
Kerala - 148 cases
Maharashtra - 139 cases
Goa - 47 cases
Gujarat - 36 cases
Andhra Pradesh - 30 cases
Rajasthan - 30 cases
Tamil Nadu - 26 cases
Delhi - 21 cases (it moved to 24 cases on 8th January)
Odisha - 3 cases
Telangana - 2 cases
Haryana - 1 case
Coming to death reports, January 8 saw about 4 deaths in 24 hours. 2 from Kerala, and 1 each from Karnataka and Tripura.
However, generally speaking, JN-1 has stayed true to expert predictions to date. It has mostly caused minor illnesses in the majority of patients. Hence, most of the people who got infected have only been advised to go for home isolation.
Here is a breakdown of the total admission status as per the Department of Health & Family Welfare. The data is for 8th January 2024.
Active Cases - 1222
Home Isolation- 1144
General bed - 55
Isolation bed with 02 support - 2
ICU with ventilator - 3
What are the Preventive Measures to Avoid New Covid Cases in India?
If we look into the news on Covid cases in India in the last 24 hours, the numbers are moving up at a fast pace. So, even though the virus is mild, we need to prevent things from getting out of hand.
According to experts, the measures required are pretty much the basics.
Take appropriate vaccines at the recommended doses on time.
Ensure proper hand hygiene regularly.
Wear masks when outdoors. especially in crowded places.
Practice social distancing as much as possible.
Keep your indoor spaces well-ventilated.
India has undergone three significant COVID-19 waves in the past, with the Delta wave being the most crucial. And we are witnessing yet another tense phase now. All thanks to the present guilty party, the COVID-19 sub-variant JN-1. From what we have gathered so far, the virus is passing from one person to another at a fast pace. But to our relief, it is causing minor disturbances in the majority.
That being said, the situation may not be so light for everyone. For eg., for a person with weak immunity or other existing diseases, the condition may get complex. So, being responsible is of paramount importance for the general good. Stay tuned to the Covid cases in India live updates and exercise caution. And if you notice JN-1 symptoms, book an appointment and get tested.
With united efforts, we can surely avoid another pandemic.
The Author : Dr. Sunil Khattri
Dr. Sunil Khattri MBBS, MS(General Surgery), LLB, is a Medical doctor and is a practicing Advocate in the Supreme Court of India and National Consumer Disputes Redressal Commission, New Delhi.