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The Union Health Ministry disclosed on Tuesday that India registered 475 new Covid-19 cases and reported 6 deaths in the last 24 hours. The fatalities occurred in Karnataka, Chhattisgarh, and Assam, as per the ministry’s data.

Four deaths were also reported on Monday, with cases originating from Kerala, Karnataka, and Tripura. Meanwhile, the number of active cases decreased from 4,002 on Monday to 3,919.
The cumulative Covid-19 cases in India, since the initial outbreak in January 2020, have reached 4,50,19,214, with the overall death toll standing at 5,33,402.

Emergence of JN.1 Subvariant in Maharashtra

A new subvariant of the Omicron strain, JN.1, has gained prominence in Maharashtra, surpassing other variants, news agency IANS reported. Kerala first reported a case of the JN.1 subvariant, known as BA.2.86 or Pirola, which is a descendant of Omicron.

Genetic studies conducted on coronavirus samples from January revealed that the JN.1 subvariant accounted for nearly all cases in Maharashtra. Out of 21 samples from the city subjected to genetic sequencing, all tested positive for JN.1. Maharashtra’s total count of JN.1 cases now stands at 249, it was reported.

Across the country, 682 JN.1 variant cases have been reported from 12 states until January 6. Kerala and Karnataka witnessed instances of the JN.1 variant, with its presence also noted in Delhi, Gujarat, Maharashtra, Tamil Nadu, Rajasthan, Telangana, Odisha, and Haryana, according to the Indian SARS-CoV-2 Genomics Consortium (INSACOG).

Data from INSACOG revealed 239 JN.1 variant cases in December 2023 and 24 in November 2023. Despite these developments, India’s overall recovery from Covid has surpassed 4.4 crore individuals, reflecting a national recovery rate of 98.81%. The country has administered a total of 220.67 crore doses of Covid vaccines, as per available data.

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