In wake of the threat posed by the COVID-19 Omicron variant, Maharashtra has issued revised guidelines that mandate passengers arriving from 'ultra risk' countries undergo institutional quarantine.
According to reports from NDTV, South Africa, Botswana, Namibia, Lasotho, Zimbabwe and Eswatini, have been declared 'ultra risk' countries, according to the new rules.
The rule will apply to those who visited these nations anytime within 15 days ahead of their arrival.
The passengers will take an RT-PCR test, after completing institutional and if the result is negative, will undergo seven days of home quarantine.
The guidelines also stated that passengers from "at risk" nations no longer need institutional quarantine upon arrival.
After the Maharashtra government revised the guidelines on quarantine for international passengers in view of concerns over the Omicron variant, the Centre on Wednesday asked the state to align its order with the SOPs issued by the Union Health Ministry.
Union Health Secretary Rajesh Bhushan, in a letter, said that the order issued by the Maharashtra government is in divergence with the COVID-19 SoPs and guidelines issued by Union Health Ministry for international passengers.
"I would, therefore, urge you to align the orders issued by the state with the guidelines issued by the Ministry of Health, Government of India, so that uniform implementation of the guidelines may be ensured across all states and UTs.
"I would also advise that such modified orders of the state government are given wide publicity to obviate any inconvenience to travellers," he said in the letter addressed to Pradeep Kumar Vyas, Additional Chief Secretary of the state's Department of Health & Family Welfare.
(With agency inputs)