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World Health Organisation classifies JN.1 as Covid-19 ‘variant of interest’

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The World Health Organization (WHO) classified the JN.1 Covid strain as a “variant of interest” but said that it did not pose much threat to public health. JN.1 was previously classified as a variant of interest as a part of its parent lineage BA.2.86.

Director-General of the World Health Organisation (WHO) Dr. Tedros Adhanom Ghebreyesus.(Reuters)
Director-General of the World Health Organisation (WHO) Dr. Tedros Adhanom Ghebreyesus.(Reuters)

“Based on the available evidence, the additional global public health risk posed by JN.1 is currently evaluated as low,” WHO said.

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The agency said that current vaccines continue to protect against severe disease and death from JN.1 and other circulating variants of the Covid-19 virus, as per news agency Reuters.

Earlier, the World Health Organization had said that the virus was changing and evolving while urging member states to continue strong surveillance and sequence sharing. The world health body said on X (formerly Twitter), “Dr @mvankerkhove talks about the current surge in respiratory diseases #COVID19 and JN.1 subvariant. WHO continues to assess the situation. Follow WHO’s public health advice to keep your families and friends safe during this holiday season.”

JN.1 variant in India

The variant has also been detected in Kerala prompting Centre to issue an advisory to the state governments urging them to make adequate health arrangements.

“Considering the upcoming festive season, there is a need to put in place requisite public health measures and other arrangements to minimize the risk of increase in transmission of the disease by adherence to the maintenance of respiratory hygiene”, the advisory read.

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