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Omicron Scare: In Mumbai, 4 From South Africa Test COVID Positive; Maha Govt Revises SOPs

Four passengers arriving from South Africa, the epicentre of the newly detected variant, have tested positive in Mumbai on Thursday, December 2.


Image: Pixabay

Amid the scare of the spread of the heavily mutated COVID variant 'Omicron', four passengers arriving from South Africa, the epicentre of the newly detected variant, have tested positive in Mumbai on Thursday, December 2. As per the latest reports, their samples have been sent for genome sequencing and the primary and secondary contacts of these passengers are being tracked by the officials.

This comes just two days after Maharashtra detected six other COVID-19 positive South African passengers, after which the Maharashtra government had announced the stringent travel guidelines on Tuesday midnight, directing seven days mandatory institutional quarantine for all the international passengers, which has now been revised. 

Maharashtra Govt revises travel guidelines, issues mandatory quarantine for passengers coming from 'ultra-risk' nations

The news of four more passengers testing positive came in at the time when the Maharashtra government revised its travel guidelines on Thursday, on the directions issued by the Centre on Wednesday. In the revised guidelines, the CM Uddhav Thackeray-led Maha Vikas Aghadi government had said that the passengers arriving from six "ultra-risk" nations will have to undergo institutional quarantine and the international passengers coming from "at-risk" nations have to follow the rules levied by the Centre. 

The Maharashtra government had placed seven African countries, including South Africa, Botswana, Namibia, Lesotho, Zimbabwe and Eswatini in the ‘ultra-risk’ nations group. These rules will also apply to those who visited these countries within 15 days of their arrival, as well as any symptomatic passengers, according to the latest guidelines. The 'At-risk nations’ designated by the Centre are South Africa, UK, Brazil, Botswana, China, Mauritius, New Zealand, Zimbabwe, Singapore, Hong Kong and Israel.

The Centre on Wednesday contested against the guidelines issued earlier by the Maharashtra government for the international passengers arriving in Maharashtra from ‘at-risk' countries. Union Health Secretary Rajesh Bhushan had written to the Maharashtra Additional Chief Secretary, Health, Dr Pradeep Vyas on Wednesday asking him to revise the guidelines announced on Tuesday as they were against the policy of the Centre.

Omicron detected in 29 countries

The COVID-19 scare has gripped the world, as the alleged 'highly transmissible' variant has already been detected in 29 countries so far. Countries across the globe have shut their borders after being alarmed about the spread of the new variant, which can probably evade the immunity built through the vaccines.

Image: Pixabay

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