Image: PTI/Representative Image
Maharashtra government on Saturday issued fresh restrictions and permissions amid surging concerns over the B.1.1.529 strain of the coronavirus, renamed Omicron by the World Health Organization (WHO). As per the latest guidelines, all travellers entering the state from any international destination shall be governed by directions of the Government of India. For domestic travellers entering the state, the guideline says that the passengers should either be fully vaccinated or carry a COVID-19 (RT-PCR) test report valid for 72 hours.
The Maharashtra government also announced a fine of Rs 500 if anyone inside a taxi or private transport 4-wheeler or inside any bus found to not following COVID appropriate behaviour. The driver/helper/conductor shall be fined Rs 500 meanwhile the owner of the transport agency in cases of buses shall be fined Rs 1000.
#COVID19 | Maharashtra Govt issues fresh restrictions & permissions.— ANI (@ANI) November 27, 2021
All travellers into state from any int'l destination shall be governed by directions of Govt of India in this respect. Domestic travellers shall either be fully vaccinated or carry RT-PCR test valid for 72 hrs. pic.twitter.com/rSQBik6aPQ
In view of a new contagious variant of COVID-19 being found in South Africa, Mumbai Mayor Kishori Pednekar on Saturday said that all the passengers coming to the city from South Africa will be quarantined. The samples of these passengers will also be sent for genome sequencing.
As per PTI, Pednekar said the decision was taken in view of the emerging new wave of COVID-19 in South Africa due to a new variant Omicron, which is highly contagious as compared to the previous variants of the coronavirus. "There is an increased risk of coronavirus in foreign countries, so those coming from outside will have to undergo genome tests," she said, adding that the Mumbai civic body is scheduled to hold a meeting on this later on the day.
Prime Minister Narendra Modi on Saturday was briefed about the new 'Omicron' variant of the coronavirus, and he asked officials to review the plans to ease international travel restrictions in light of the "emerging new evidence". At the meeting to review the Covid situation, PM Modi was briefed about the global trends on coronavirus cases and officials highlighted that countries across the world have experienced multiple COVID-19 surges since the onset of the pandemic.
The new COVID-19 variant B.1.1.529, first detected in South Africa this week, was on Friday designated as a “Variant of Concern” by the World Health Organisation (WHO), which named it Omicron.