India has reported 109 Covid-19 cases of JN.1 variant between December 26 and December 8, when the strain was first detected, the Ministry of Health and Family Welfare said on Wednesday.

Gujarat recoreded the highest number of cases at 36, followed by Karnataka at 34 and Goa at 14 , said a ministry spokesperson in an update, adding that nine infections have been reported from Maharashtra.

Rajasthan and Tamil Nadu reported four cases each. Two cases have been reported from Telangana, the ministry said.

In India, the first case of the JN.1 coronavirus variant was detected in the Karakulam area of Kerala’s Thiruvananthapuram district. The tally in the state has reached six.

The World Health Organization has classified the JN.1 coronavirus strain as a “variant of interest,” but said that, the risk to public health – going by available evidence – appears to be low.

However, the global health body also said that with the onset of winter in the northern hemisphere, the variant, along with other viral and bacterial infections, could increase the number of respiratory infections in many countries.

The number of daily cases had significantly dropped, but since the emergence of the new variant in early December and the onset of winter, the cases have seen a spike.

On Wednesday morning, the ministry said that the country recorded 529 fresh Covid-19 cases in a single day, taking the total number of active cases to 4,093, according to The Times of India.

On December 18, the Centre had asked state governments to monitor and report influenza-like illnesses and severe acute respiratory illnesses amid the surge.