India has reported 511 coronavirus cases of the JN.1 variant, PTI reported on Wednesday.

The country recorded five deaths and 602 new cases of Covid-19 between Tuesday and Wednesday, ANI quoted the Union health ministry as saying. The number of active cases stood at 4,440.

The new JN.1 variant had been detected in 11 states and Union Territories till Tuesday. The highest number of cases of the new variant had been recorded in Karnataka at 199, followed by Kerala with 148 cases, the health ministry said. A total of 47 cases of JN.1 variant have been reported in Goa, 36 in Gujarat and 32 in Maharashtra.

Tamil Nadu has reported 26 cases of the JN.1 variant with 15 in Delhi and four in Rajasthan. Two cases of the new variant have been reported in Telangana. Odisha and Haryana have reported one such case each.

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

However, the global health body has 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 Covid-19 cases being reported on a daily basis 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 December 18, the Centre had asked state governments to monitor and report influenza-like illnesses and severe acute respiratory illnesses amid the surge.