Delhi sees its first JN.1 cases, AIIMS outlays measures to tackle new Covid variant

DailyBiteDec 28, 2023 | 10:26

Delhi sees its first JN.1 cases, AIIMS outlays measures to tackle new Covid variant

AIIMS Delhi issued guidelines for handling suspected or positive Covid patients. Photo: Getty/dailyO

In response to the detection of the JN.1 coronavirus sub-variant in the national capital, the All India Institute of Medical Sciences (AIIMS) in Delhi has released comprehensive guidelines for handling suspected or confirmed COVID-19 patients arriving at hospitals.

The move comes as Delhi reported its first case of the JN.1 variant, a sub-strain of the Omicron case on Wednesday, December 27.

The premier health institute, after a meeting on Wednesday, laid down the following guidelines:


Specialised COVID Screening

  • AIIMS director outlined key measures, including establishing a dedicated COVID-19 screening Outpatient Department (OPD) within the emergency department.
  • Patients displaying Severe Acute Respiratory Infection (SARI) like symptoms will undergo COVID testing.
  • Other key symptoms would be acute respiratory infection, persistent fever, or fever with cough.


  • All AIIMS departments have been directed to allocate specific areas for managing COVID-positive inpatients to address the surge in cases.
  • A designated ward, C6, will reserve twelve beds for the hospitalisation of critically ill COVID patients.
  • Additionally, specific rooms in the new private ward will be earmarked for the hospitalisation of Covid-positive Employees Health Scheme (EHS) beneficiaries.

Infrastructure Enhancement

  • AIIMS will also undertake engineering work to promptly install advanced air purifying filters in the hospital indoors.

Reassurance amidst concerns

  • Delhi Health Minister Saurabh Bharadwaj, on Wednesday, addressed the public, urging calm and assuring that the JN.1 variant causes mild infections.
  • He said, "JN.1 is a sub-variant of Omicron and causes mild infection. There is no need to panic; it causes mild sickness."
  • Bhardwaj also added, "Out of the 3 samples sent for genome sequencing, one is JN.1 and two are Omicron."

COVID landscape

  • The latest update shows Delhi has reported 35 active cases, with nine new infections.
  • The first case of JN.1 was confirmed following genome sequencing of multiple samples.
  • Nationwide, 40 new cases of the JN.1 sub-variant were reported in the last 24 hours, bringing the total tally to 109.
  • Despite a rise in COVID cases, the majority of infections are mild, with 92 per cent opting for home-based treatment.

The central government has urged all states and Union Territories to ensure strict compliance with operational guidelines for the revised surveillance strategy for COVID-19.

Last updated: December 28, 2023 | 10:27
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