Passenger from S Africa lands in Mumbai via Delhi, tests positive

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Passenger from S Africa lands in Mumbai via Delhi, tests positive
© Provided by The Indian Express

A 32-year-old resident of Dombivili in Mumbai, who arrived from South Africa via Delhi on November 24, tested positive upon arrival in the national Capital, though health officials are yet to ascertain if he is infected with the Omicron variant of Covid-19.

“He travelled from Cape Town to Delhi via Dubai. He tested Covid-19 positive in Delhi but somehow was able to board the connecting flight to Mumbai. On arrival in Mumbai, he was found to be positive. He is asymptomatic and had home quarantined himself. Later, the corporation quarantined him in an institution,” said Pratibha Panpatil, Chief Medical Officer of the Kalyan Dombivli Municipal Corporation (KDMC).

KDMC health officials said they have alerted the airport authorities and efforts are on to locate the man’s co-passengers.

Dr Pradeep Vyas, Additional Chief Secretary (Health) said, “We have sent his samples for genome sequencing to find out if he is carrying the Omicron varint.”

Explained |Random testing and other revised rules for foreign travellers

According to the Centre’s November 11 guidelines for international passengers, samples for RT-PCR tests are to be submitted on landing, after which passengers are allowed to leave the airport. Passengers are to follow home quarantine for seven days, with a mandatory retest on the eight day.

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Amid rising worries over the Omicron variant, the Brihanmumbai Municipal Corporation (BMC) has begun contacting 466 passengers who arrived in the city over the last 15 days from the “countries of concern”, including South Africa, and will take swab samples from them for RT-PCR tests. Officials said that 97 of the 466 passengers who arrived in Mumbai are residents of the city. The civic body is individually contacting all passengers for their health updates.

“The passengers who live in Mumbai don’t have any symptoms. All are quarantined at home. We will run RT-PCR tests on them on Monday,” said BMC Additional Commissioner Suresh Kakani.

The Indian Express has learnt that the state government is likely to make seven-day institutional quarantine mandatory for passengers flying into the city from — or transiting through — countries of concern. For domestic passengers, the government is likely to bring back the rule on mandatorily carrying a negative RT-PCR test for entering the state, sources said.

These measures were discussed at a Covid-19 review meeting that Chief Minister Uddhav Thackeray held with Health Minister Rajesh Tope, senior government officials, state Covid task force members, divisional commissioners and district collectors.

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