Vikash Sharma

The detection of JN.1, a new variant of Covid-19 in some states has rung an alarming bell in the country. The new variant and surge in daily Covid-19 cases prompted the Centre to issue advisory to all states and UTs on Monday.

The Odisha government is closely monitoring the developments and necessary guidelines might be issued in this regard, said Health Director Bijay Mohapatra.

According to Mohapatra, the new variant JN.1 has not been detected in Odisha so far. Appropriate steps will be taken for genome sequencing, if any case of the new Covid sub-variant is detected in the state, he said.

“As per the experts, the symptoms of the new sub variant are almost common like other respiratory viruses. As per Centre’s guidelines, adequate preventive measures should be taken. We have not stopped surveillance of symptomatic cases in the state,” said Mohapatra.

The existing protocol for testing of Influenza-like Illness (ILI) and Severe Acute Respiratory Illness (SARI) cases remains valid for all states as per the Centre’s guidelines.

“At present, we have all the requisite logistics for testing and treatment in the state. Earlier, guidelines were issued for isolation beds and fever clinics and these are continuing in the state. As picnic season is on, people having flu like symptoms or fever should avoid attending congregations to prevent any spread. Importantly, they should get themselves tested,” Mohapatra added.

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