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Omicron Scare in Maharashtra: 1,000 travellers from Africa landed in city; 6 tests COVID positive

The civic body has collected swab samples of at least 100 travellers out of the 466 whose list was received so far. Of which, 6 passengers have tested for COVID-19.

Omicron Scare in Maharashtra: 1,000 travellers from Africa landed in city; 6 tests COVID positive
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In a worrying development, amid the emergence of new coronavirus variant, the Brihanmumbai Municipal Corporation (BMC) has revealed that at least 1,000 travellers had landed in Mumbai in the last 15 days from Omicron-hit countries.

On Tuesday, November 30, the BMC Commissioner Iqbal Singh Chahal stated that the civic authority is tracing all passengers who landed at Mumbai airport from South Africa in the previous two weeks to probe the new COVID-19 variant, Omicron.

The Mumbai airport authority has informed that around 1,000 travellers had landed here from African countries in the last fortnight, but it has handed over a list of only 466 such passengers so far, BMC Additional Commissioner Suresh Kakani was quoted by PTI.

He also said that the civic body has collected swab samples of at least 100 travellers out of the 466 whose list was received so far. Of this, six passengers have tested positive for COVID-19. 

Also Read: Maharashtra Govt announces 7-day quarantine For Travellers From 'At-Risk' Countries

According to the health department, all six are either asymptomatic or mildly symptomatic and their samples have been sent for genome sequencing. Besides, contact tracing for all six passengers is underway.

Of the total, three have been traced to the Mumbai, Kalyan-Dombivali and Mira-Bhayandar areas each, with the fourth traced from Pune. Two others - arrivals from Nigeria - have been traced from Pimpri-Chinchwad.

The World Health Organisation (WHO) had last week classified the Omicron as a 'variant of concern'. There won't be an issue if their test report is negative, but the civic body is going to conduct genome sequencing of positive samples, along with S-gene missing test that is advised by the WHO for faster detection of infection due to Omicron, without genome sequencing, he added.

Also Read: Omicron Scare: BMC Postpones Reopening Of Schools

If S-gene is missing, in that case, it is presumed that the traveller may be infected with Omicron, Kakani explained, adding that the genome sequencing will confirm the infection.

Moreover, the infected travellers, whether symptomatic or asymptomatic, will be shifted to the civic body's institutional quarantine facility at the civic-run Seven Hills Hospital in suburban Andheri.

Besides, amid rising concerns over Omicron, the BMC has kept all the five hospitals and jumbo facilities ready.

Also Read: Central government directs all states to increase RT-PCR testing

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