288 samples of foreign fliers sent for genome sequencing: Mumbai mayor


As many 288 samples of international travellers have been sent for genome sequencing in Mumbai, Maharashtra, the city’s mayor Kishori Pednekar informed on Saturday. The administration is on constant alert about people returning from the so-called “at-risk” countries, she also said, adding it “has prepared a complete action plan for it,” the news agency ANI reported.

“The airport authorities have been directed to inform our disaster control room on arrivals from these countries,” she also said. Ten ambulances will also be kept on stand by in each ward, she also said as per ANI.

Earlier in the day, the civic body of Mumbai released a new standard operating procedure (SOP) as concerns regarding the Omnicron variant of the coronavirus gripped the country.

As per the revised guidelines, seven-day home quarantine of people arriving in the city from high-risk countries is mandatory. According to the health ministry, the countries designated as “at-risk” are the European countries, the UK, South Africa, Brazil, Botswana, China, Mauritius, New Zealand, Zimbabwe, Singapore, Hong Kong and Israel.

According to the order, the Brihanmumbai Municipal Corporation (BMC) will also receive a list of passengers, who arrive from the countries defined as “high-risk” or “at risk” by the Union health ministry. The list will include the detailed address and contact numbers of these travellers.

After getting the list, “its staff will contact the passengers to inform them to remain home quarantined for the next seven days. Adherence to the home quarantine order is mandatory and the passengers will be shifted to government-run institutions if they are found violating it,” the civic body stated in the order.

“An RT-PCR test will be conducted after seven days and necessary steps will be taken accordingly,” the order added.

The Omicron strain, first detected in South Africa, has been classified as a ‘variant of concern’ by the World Health Organization (WHO). The first cases of the Omicron variant in India have been confirmed in two individuals in Karnataka.

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