Mumbai: Amid growing concern over the new Omicron variant of coronavirus, the Maharashtra government has made institutional quarantine mandatory for passengers coming to the state from ‘at-risk’ nations. As per the reports, the order to place passengers into compulsory quarantine centres will come into effect immediately.Also Read - Rajasthan Eases Covid-19 restrictions; Schools To Resume Physical Classes From February 1. Details HERE

Speaking to a leading news channel, a source close to the development said that flyers arriving into the state will have to pay for the quarantine at designated hotels. Following the order, mass cancellation of flights to Mumbai is likely. The list of countries designated “at-risk” for now includes South Africa, all 44 countries in Europe, the United Kingdom (UK), Brazil, Bangladesh, Botswana, China, Mauritius, New Zealand, Zimbabwe, Hong Kong, Israel and Singapore. Also Read - COVID Positive Man In Kolkata Donates Body For Medical Research On Infection

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Passengers coming from the above-mentioned countries will also undergo RT-PCR test on the second, fourth and seventh day of arrival, the authorities said in its latest guidelines. If a passenger is found to be positive, he or she will be shifted to a hospital. In case the test is negative, the passenger will still have to undergo seven-day home quarantine.

Passengers from other than at-risk countries will have to undergo a compulsory RT-PCR test at the airport. Even if found negative, they will have to undergo 14 days’ home quarantine. If found positive the patient will be shifted to a hospital, the guidelines added.

The latest guidelines come as six passengers, who arrived in Maharashtra from South Africa and other high-risk countries, tested positive for coronavirus. Of those who have come from South Africa and other countries, one each has been found in the municipal corporation limits of Mumbai, Kalyan-Dombivali, Mira-Bhayandar and Pune.

Two passengers who arrived from Nigeria have been found in the Pimpri-Chinchwad corporation area neighbouring Pune. “Currently, there are six passengers who arrived from South Africa or other high-risk countries in the state who have tested positive. The samples of all of them have been sent for genetic sequencing and their contact tracing exercise is underway. All these passengers, although tested COVID-19 positive, are either asymptomatic or mildly symptomatic”, the health department said.