Cairo: The new variant of COVID-19 has been detected in Kuwait, but no emergency measures are planned, a Kuwaiti health official said on Thursday.
“The JN.1 variant has been monitored in the country, but the health situation is stable. No unusual preventive measures will be taken for the time being,” spokesman for the Kuwaiti Ministry of Health Dr Abdullah Al Sanad said.
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Al Rai newspaper quoted unidentified sources as saying that the Ministry of Health has made available an updated version of a vaccine against COVID-19 for common strains of the virus at 42 health centres across the country.
People in the age category of over 60 years as well as sufferers of chronic illnesses and immunodeficiency are advised to take the inoculation, the sources said.
Last week, the World Health Organisation (WHO) designated JN.1 as a “variant of interest” amid sharp rise in world spread.
Based on the available data, the additional global public health risk posed by JN.1 is “currently evaluated as low”, according to the UN agency.
“Despite this, with the onset of winter in the Northern Hemisphere, JN.1 could increase the burden of respiratory infections in many countries,” WHO added.
The agency noted that current vaccines continue to protect against severe disease and death from JN.1 and other circulating variants.
JN.1 is a descendant of Omicron and its symptoms seem to be similar to other variants including having a sore throat followed by congestion, according to specialists.
Past symptoms caused by COVID-19 including the loss taste or smell are less common.