This Article is From Dec 02, 2021

In Maharashtra's New Quarantine Rules, 3 'Ultra-Risk' Nations: 10 Facts

The "ultra-risk" nations are South Africa, Botswana, Namibia, Lasotho, Zimbabwe and Eswatini.

Since its detection in South Africa, the Omicron strain has been reported in a dozen countries.

New Delhi: Passengers from three "ultra-risk" nations will undergo mandatory institutional quarantine under the revised airport rules in Maharashtra in view of Covid's Omicron variant. Passengers from "at risk" nations have to follow central rules.

Here are the Top 10 points in this big story:

  1. The "ultra-risk" nations are South Africa, Botswana, and Zimbabwe. Passengers from these nations "shall be deboarded on priority.... (and) sent to mandatory 7 days' institutional quarantine," the new rules say..

  2. The rule will also apply to people who visited these nations anytime within 15 days ahead of their arrival, and any passenger who is symptomatic.

  3. After completion of institutional quarantine, the passengers will take an RTPCR test and if the result is negative, will undergo seven days of home quarantine.

  4. Passengers from "at risk" nations no longer need institutional quarantine upon arrival in Mumbai, but will undergo an RT-PCR test at the airport for which they have to pay. If tested positive, they will be moved to a separate isolation facility. Their samples will be sent for genomic testing. If tested negative, they will follow home quarantine for seven days. A second test will be conducted on the eighth day.

  5. Domestic passengers have to provide proof of double vaccination or negative report of an RT-PCR test conducted within 72 hours of boarding the flight.

  6. Maharashtra Minister Aaditya Thackeray has told NDTV that the state rules need to be different from the Centre's version in view its past experience with the pandemic.   

  7. "We were hit first, we were hit the hardest and we were always accountable and transparent... so we need to be a little cautious about our state… People's safety is top priority," Mr Thackeray said.

  8. Maharashtra announced a series of restrictions on Tuesday evening that put it in collision course with the Centre. The rules, which were to come into effect at midnight, would have spelled trouble for more than a thousand incoming international passengers.

  9. The state later relaxed the restrictions. Aadtiya Thackeray said it was necessary since the passengers had no chance to plan their trips or finances.

  10. As of Thursday, more than 50 nations have had a brush with Omicron or are "at risk". The list includes European nations like UK, Germany, Spain, Belgium, and Italy. Besides, South Africa, Botswana, Israel, Hong Kong and Japan have confirmed cases of Omicron.

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