In light of the new COVID-19 'Omicron' variant, Mumbai Mayor Kishori Pednekar on Saturday announced that passengers returning from South Africa will be quarantined on arrival in Mumbai and their samples will be sent for genome sequencing.
Meanwhile, the Brihanmumbai Municipal Corporation (BMC) has called a meeting of senior officials at 5:30 pm today with regard to the variant.
This variant of COVID-19 was first reported to WHO from South Africa on Friday.
The epidemiological situation in South Africa has been characterized by three distinct peaks in reported cases, the latest of which was predominantly the Delta variant, the WHO informed in a statement.
"In recent weeks, infections have increased steeply, coinciding with the detection of B.1.1.529 variant. The first known confirmed B.1.1.529 infection was from a specimen collected on 9 November 2021," the statement said.
This variant has a large number of mutations, some of which are concerning. The number of cases of this variant appears to be increasing in almost all provinces in South Africa.
(With agency inputs)