Wednesday, August 10, 2022

Omicron scare in Maharashtra: South Africa returnee tests positive for Covid

A person, who returned from South Africa to Dombivli, has been tested positive for COVID-19 on Sunday, said the Kalyan Dombivli Municipal Corporation (KDMC). Dr Pratibha Panpatil, health officer, KDMC, said, “A person, who returned from South Africa, has been tested positive for COVID-19. His samples will be sent for genome sequencing to ascertain whether he has been infected with new variant Omricon.”

Dr Panpatil further added, “He had travelled from South Africa to Mumbai via Delhi. He has been quarantined at Municipal Corporation’s isolation room. Meanwhile, his brother has been tested negative, and other family members samples will be collected on Monday.”

Union Health Ministry on Sunday revised guidelines for international arrivals in India which will be effective from December 1. The guidelines require passengers to submit the self-declaration form on the online Air Suvidha Portal before the scheduled travel and to submit the last 14 days travel details.

The guidelines also mandated the uploading of negative RT-PCR test reports on the Air Suvidha portal before the journey. The test should have been conducted within 72 hours prior to undertaking the journey. As per Health Ministry’s guidelines, travellers from ‘countries at-risk’ will need to take the COVID-19 test post-arrival and wait for results at the airport.

If tested negative they will follow, home quarantine for seven days. They will have to take a re-test on eight-day and if negative, further self-monitor for the next seven days. A sub-section (5 percent of the total flight passengers) shall undergo post-arrival testing at random at the airport on the arrival.

According to the Health Ministry, the ‘countries at risk’ include countries in Europe including the United Kingdom, South Africa, Brazil, Bangladesh, Botswana, China, Mauritius, New Zealand, Zimbabwe, Singapore, Hong Kong, Israel. The existing guidelines have been revised in view of reporting of a new variant of SARS-CoV-2 (B.1.1.529; named Omicron) which has now been classified as a Variant of Concern by the World Health Organization.

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