Mumbai: In a big relief to Mumbaikars, the Brihanmumbai Municipal Corporation (BMC) on Thursday confirmed that one of the samples that were sent for genome sequencing for the detection of the new Omicron variant of coronavirus came negative. Earlier on Tuesday, the Maharashtra public health department had informed that six passengers who arrived from South Africa had tested positive for COVID-19. “Not a single Omicron case in Mumbai to date. Few more samples have been sent for genome sequencing. Their results will be out soon” News 18 reported quoting sources.Also Read - South Africa Sees COVID Cases Double In 1 Day Where Omicron Variant Was Detected
Meanwhile, Maharashtra has mandated seven-day institutional quarantine for travellers arriving in the state from ‘at-risk’ countries under the guidelines issued by the State Disaster Management Authority on Tuesday night. Such passengers will also undergo-PCR test on the second, fourth and seventh day of arrival. If found to be COVID-19 positive, the passenger will be shifted to a hospital. In case the test is negative, the passenger will still have to undergo seven-day home quarantine.
The list of ‘at-risk’ countries has been announced by the Union government. According to an updated list, the countries designated as ‘at-risk’ are the European countries, the UK, South Africa, Brazil, Botswana, China, Mauritius, New Zealand, Zimbabwe, Singapore, Hong Kong and Israel.
Reports have claimed that new Omicron variant was already present in European countries like Belgium, Germany, and the Netherlands before it was detected in South Africa.
On November 24, South African health officials had alerted the world about the existence of the new variant B.1.1.529, with 32 mutations. Two days later the World Health Organisation (WHO) assigned the Greek letter Omicron to the variant and said the new strain may pose a higher risk of reinfection than past mutations of the virus.