Cairo: Saudi health authorities said they have detected the JN.1 variant of COVID-19, but said it is no cause for worry.
The kingdom’s Public Health Authority said it has monitored the local spread of the variant, JN.1, accounting for 36 per cent of the cases in the country.
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“This has not been accompanied by any increase in admissions into intensive care units,” the government agency, known as Weqya, said on its X account Wednesday.
“Weqya confirms there is nothing to worry about,” it added.
The World Health Organization (WHO) this week classified the JN.1 strain as a "variant of interest" and said current evidence shows risk to public health was low from the strain.
At least two experts told Reuters that while the strain can evade the immune system and transmit more easily than other currently circulating variants, it has not shown any signs of more severe di
sease. Saudi Arabia has gradually lifted pandemic-related restrictions, reopening different businesses and activities in the country.
Earlier this year, around 1.8 million Muslims attended annual Hajj pilgrimage in Saudi Arabia for the first time in three years after the pandemic-related restrictions were lifted.