4 More Passengers From 'At-Risk' Countries Test Covid +ve In Mumbai

All the patients are asymptomatic and have been institutionally quarantined. Their samples will be sent for genome sequencing.

4 More Passengers From 'At-Risk' Countries Test Covid +ve In Mumbai

India has amped up vigil at airports in the wake of coronavirus

Mumbai:

Four more international passengers who arrived in Mumbai from 'at risk' countries - where the new Covid variant, Omicron, has been detected - have tested positive for coronavirus. This takes the total number of such positive patients to 10.

All the patients are asymptomatic and have been institutionally quarantined. Their samples will be sent for genome sequencing.

Three of these cases were not detected at the airport as the passengers arrived before the compulsory testing norms came into force.

However, the Brihanmumbai Municipal Corporation, or the BMC, was conducting a contact tracing exercise of all passengers who arrived over last 15 days and found three positive cases.

One among them is a 21-year-old man from London who arrived on November 10; another is a 47-year-man with travel history from Mauritius, who landed on November 25; while yet another is a 39-year-old man who landed in Mumbai from South Africa and also tested positive on 25.

The fourth is a 25-year-old man who arrived from London on Wednesday and was detected positive through a rapid antigen test.

Existing tests - both rapid antigen and PCR - can pick up signs of Covid even if the infecting strain is Omicron, the government told states and UTs yesterday, urging them to ramp up testing.

All international passengers travelling to Maharashtra must submit a declaration listing the countries visited in the last 15 days, which will be cross-checked by immigration; incorrect information will make them liable for action under the Disaster Management Act, said the new rules which came in the wake of Omicron.

There will be a mandatory seven-day institutional quarantine for all passengers from nations on the Health Ministry's 'at risk' list, which includes the United Kingdom and countries in mainland Europe, South Africa, Botswana, Brazil, Bangladesh, Hong Kong, Israel, and New Zealand.

Health Minister Mansukh Mandaviya yesterday told Parliament the Omicron variant is not yet in India. However, a senior doctor at the government-run ICMR told NDTV the strain is likely already here.

Omicron - designated a 'variant of concern' by the WHO - is believed to have 50+ mutations, including over 30 on the spike protein, which makes it considerably more infectious than other known variants.

.