The Ministry of Health in Sri Lanka affirms that the new Covid-19 sub-strain JN-1 shows minimal spread within the country based on current data. Tests conducted over the past months reveal a low number of reported Covid-19 cases, according to a statement released on Monday.

Health officials have proactively collected samples from major hospitals nationwide, focusing on recent days. All samples, in accordance with technical guidelines, have been sent to the Medical Research Institute for testing, with none testing positive for COVID-19.

The Ministry emphasizes preventive measures, urging the public to wear masks in enclosed, poorly ventilated, and crowded spaces. Frequent handwashing, maintaining social distance, and following proper cough and sneeze etiquette are also highlighted as crucial in preventing the spread of respiratory diseases, including COVID-19 and Influenza.

Special attention is directed towards individuals over 60 with chronic illnesses and pregnant mothers, who are at increased risk of complications from respiratory diseases. The World Health Organization (WHO) echoes these concerns, urging South-East Asian countries to bolster surveillance in light of rising cases of respiratory diseases, including COVID-19 and its sub-variant JN.1, emphasizing the importance of protective measures. WHO classifies JN.1 as a variant of interest due to its rapid global spread.