Mumbai: Four more passengers who arrived in Mumbai from ‘at risk’ countries have tested positive for COVID-19.
Their swab samples have been sent for genome sequencing. The patients are asymptomatic and under institutional quarantine.
One patient is a 21-year-old man from London, who arrived on November 10. Another is a 47-year-old man with travel history from Mauritius. He landed on November 25. A 39-year-old man who arrived from South Africa also tested positive. The fourth is a 25-year-old man who arrived from London on Wednesday.
The fresh cases come amid an ongoing tussle between the Centre and Maharashtra over COVID-19 guidelines.
The Union Health Ministry on Wednesday conveyed to the Maharashtra government that its revised guidelines for international travellers, following the emergence of Omicron, were “in divergence” with the Centre’s norms.
However, Maharashtra has said it will not “amend or revise” its guidelines — for now. Later, official sources indicated there “might be some changes”.
Passengers from six “ultra-risk” nations will undergo institutional quarantine under the revised airport rules in Maharashtra. Passengers from “at risk” nations have to follow central rules, reported NDTV.
The “ultra-risk” nations are South Africa, Botswana, Namibia, Lasotho, Zimbabwe and Eswatini. Passengers from these nations “shall be deboarded on priority…. (and) sent to mandatory seven days’ institutional quarantine,” the new rules say.
After completion of institutional quarantine, the passengers will take an RT-PCR test and if the result is negative, will undergo seven days of home quarantine.
Passengers from “at risk” nations no longer need institutional quarantine upon arrival.
Maharashtra Minister Aaditya Thackeray told NDTV that the state rules need to be different from the Centre’s version in view of its past experience with the pandemic.
“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,” Thackeray said.
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