Corona JN.1 Variant: Maharashtra Chief Minister Reviews Health System Preparedness; 45 COVID Cases Reported

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Mumbai, 21st December 2023: Chief Minister Eknath Shinde conducted a comprehensive review of the state’s health system in light of the detection of the new Corona variant, JN.1, both in the country and the state.

The Chief Minister emphasized the need for structural, electrical, and fire audits in health institutions across Maharashtra. During the video-conferencing meeting, he instructed the health department to ensure the readiness of isolation and oxygen beds in hospitals. Chief Minister Shinde urged citizens to adhere to Corona preventive instructions without fear.


The meeting, attended by Health Minister Dr. Tanaji Sawant, Medical Education Minister Hasan Mushrif, Chief Secretary Manoj Saunik, and other key officials, focused on various aspects of preparedness. The Chief Minister instructed officials to conduct checks on oxygen plants, ventilators, oxygen pipelines, RTPCR labs, and Liquid Oxygen plants, ensuring their proper functioning. The review also extended to vaccination status, emphasizing the importance of reaching those who have not yet been vaccinated.


Preparations were discussed at length, including the establishment of task forces, guidance from experts, and an overview of the current status of Covid centers, isolation beds, ICU beds, and ventilator beds. The Chief Minister highlighted the success of the country, under Prime Minister Narendra Modi’s leadership, in battling the previous waves of Covid and assured citizens that the state is fully prepared, urging them not to panic.


Chief Minister Shinde encouraged citizens to get tested immediately if experiencing symptoms like cold, cough, or fever. He emphasized the use of masks in crowded places, especially with the upcoming festivals and the New Year on the horizon. Concerns about misinformation were addressed, with a plea to both social and mass media to ensure accurate information dissemination, avoiding confusion or panic.


The government assured that it is fully equipped to handle any situation with unity, having abundant machinery, drug stocks, and other necessary equipment. Minister of Medical Education Mushrif and Health Minister Dr. Sawant provided details about the health system’s preparedness, highlighting the availability of 63 thousand isolation beds, 33 thousand oxygen beds, 9 thousand 500 ICU beds, and 6 thousand ventilator beds in the state.


Health secretary Milind Mhaiskar reported 45 new cases of the Corona variant in the state including 27 in Mumbai, 8 each in Pune and Thane, one each in Kolhapur and Raigad).


Principal Secretary Brijesh Singh announced a public awareness campaign regarding the new variant JN.1, emphasizing the importance of official information to prevent the spread of rumors and confusion among the public.