Thursday, 20 January 2022

Maharashtra to impose 7-day quarantine for traveling from South Africa

Maharashtra to impose 7-day quarantine for traveling from South Africa

Maharashtra announced seven-day institutional quarantine for passengers arriving directly from South Africa or transiting through the country, which was the first to report the latest Omicron variant of the coronavirus, considered to be more transmittable than the previous Covid -19 mutations.

According to senior state officials, the state is also likely to make a negative RT-PCR test mandatory for entry of domestic travelers.

Chief minister Uddhav Thackeray on Sunday, in a review meeting with the district collectors and municipal commissioners, said they could go ahead with the immediate imposition of quarantine rules without waiting for the Centre to announce new guidelines.

Thackeray chaired the meeting from a Mumbai hospital, where he is recuperating following spine surgery. The Brihanmumbai Municipal Corporation (BMC) has suggested imposing 14-day institutional quarantine for passengers from geographies of concern in Africa. However, the state is expected to approve a seven-day quarantine. Detailed guidelines are expected to be issued in a couple of days, officials said.

Thackeray is quoted in a statement released by his office.

“A huge number of people from abroad have started coming to Mumbai and other places. Many of them land elsewhere in the country and travel by domestic airlines, roads and trains. If any of them are carriers of the virus, others may be at great risk, so it is imperative to investigate such passengers, to keep a tab on them,”

Read More: Maharashtra government issues new covid guidelines amid of new covid variant

During the meeting, Thackeray instructed officials to test international and domestic passengers arriving at airports in the state.

State Covid Task Force member Dr. Shashank Joshi said they are now in the “vigilant” mode as the new variant, B.1.1.529, is reportedly more infectious than Delta, primarily responsible for the deadly second wave of coronavirus infections in India earlier this year.

Joshi, who attended the meeting on Sunday, said.

“The Delta variant had two mutations, this has over 50. It is a super mutant, and it transmits rapidly. In 10 days, it replaced the dominant Delta strain in South Africa,”

Experts have also expressed fears that the Omicron variant was less likely to resist built-in immunity individuals who successfully recovered from infections triggered by the old variants such as Delta.

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