COVID surge, New Variant In Kerala: Centre Issues Advisory, Karnataka Tells Seniors To Wear Mask

Bengaluru: A rise in COVID-19 cases in Kerala and some other states/union territories (UTs), including detection of the first JN.1 sub-variant case, has compelled the Central government to take notice.

Union Health Secretary Sudhansh Pant has written to all states and UTs, highlighting the need for maintaining constant vigil over the COVID situation.

“Due to consistent and collaborative actions between Centre and state governments, we have been able to sustain the trajectory at sustainable low rates. However, as the COVID-19 virus continues to circulate and its epidemiology behaviour gets settled with Indian weather conditions and circulation of other usual pathogens, it is important to keep the momentum going to effectively deal with the challenges in public health,” Pant stated in his letter on Monday.

Kerala’s neighbouring state Karnataka responded to a possible impending crisis as well.

Karnataka’s Health & Family Welfare minister D Gundu Rao advised senior citizens and those with comorbidities to wear masks, while adding that there is no reason to panic.

“We held a meeting yesterday where we discussed what steps should be taken. We’ll issue an advisory soon. Those who are over 60 years of age and those who have heart problems, and have comorbidities must wear masks,” Rao told reporters.

“We have asked government hospitals to be prepared. Regions that share a border with Kerala must be more alert. Mangaluru, Chamanajnagar and Kodagu must be alert. Testing will be increased. Those who have respiratory issues will have to mandatorily undergo tests,” the minister added.

India’s active COVID-19 caseload rose to 1,828 on Monday, with one death reported from Kerala.


* Considering upcoming festive season, states and UTs advised to put in place requisite public health measures and other arrangements to minimise risk of increase in transmission of the disease by adherence to maintenance of respiratory hygiene.

* Ensure effective compliance of detailed operational guidelines for revised surveillance strategy for COVID-19 as has been shared by Union Ministry of Health and Family Welfare. (available at:

* Monitor and report district-wise Influenza-like Illness (ILI) & Severe Acute Respiratory Illness (SARI) cases in all health facilities on a regular basis including in the Integrated Health Information Platform (IHIP) portal, for detecting the early rising trend of cases.

* Ensure adequate testing in all districts as per COVID-19 testing guidelines and maintain recommended share of RT-PCR and Antigen tests.

* Increase number of RT-PCR tests and send positive samples for genome sequencing to Indian SARS COV-2 Genomics Consortium (INSACOG) laboratories so as to enable timely detection of new variants, if any, in the country.

* Ensure active participation of all public and private health facilities in the drill being conducted by the Union Health Ministry, to take stock of their preparedness and response capacities.

* Promote community awareness to seek their continued support in managing COVID-19, including adherence to respiratory hygiene.

Get real time updates directly on you device, subscribe now.

Comments are closed.