Over the last two weeks, all analysed SARS-CoV-2 samples were identified as the newly designated JN.1 variant, India's Covid-19 genomic sequencing consortium INSACOG has said.
However, this data may not accurately represent the overall variant distribution in India due to a halt in genome sequence submissions from most states since June-July.
Despite the World Health Organisation declaring Covid-19 no longer a public health emergency in May, JN.1 was recently designated a "variant of interest," with a current low global public health risk assessment.
Health Minister Mansukh Mandaviya has urged states to increase testing and submit more samples for sequencing to monitor the evolving situation according to a report from The Indian Express.
The data suggests that the JN.1 variant could potentially become the dominant strain in India, mirroring trends seen in other countries.
However, gaps in genome sequencing from several states raise concerns about comprehensive surveillance.
According to the official data, 21 cases of JN.1 have been detected here so far - 19 from Goa, one from Kerala, and one from an area near the Goa-Maharashtra border. There has been no clustering of cases, said the Health Ministry.
Bhuvan Krishna is Staff Writer at Swarajya.
An appeal from Swarajya
At Swarajya, we rely on our readers' support through subscriptions to sustain our media platform. Unlike larger conglomerates, we are unable to relentlessly chase advertising money — our model is largely built on your patronage.
Your support has never been more crucial. We work tirelessly to deliver 10-15 high-quality articles daily, ensuring you receive insightful content from 7 AM to 10 PM.
If you believe India's story has to be articulated in a way it has never been done before without shrugging it off, become a patron (or) subscribe now for ₹̶2̶4̶0̶0̶ ₹1999 and get 12 print issues, unlimited digital access for 1 year, a special India that is Bharat T-shirt (Offer ends soon).
We are counting on you!