BMC Commissioner Iqbal Singh Chahal on Saturday asked the civic administration to take the necessary precautions to thoroughly screen international passengers arriving from African countries where the new COVID variant Omicron has been detected, and isolate any infected passenger and carry out their genome sequencing tests.
Chahal held a meeting on video conferencing with the top officials of the civic body and other stakeholders. Among those who attended the meeting were Additional Municipal Commissioners Ashwini Bhide, P Velarasu, Suresh Kakani, Joint Commissioner (Law and Order) Vishwas Nangre-Patil, all deputy municipal commissioners, assistant commissioners, officials from the Chhatrapati Shivaji Maharaj International Airport, superintendents of all civic hospitals, and task force members among others.
He said following World Health Organisation's alert on the COVID variant found in African countries, several countries and airline operators have taken precautionary measures. He gave directions that 15-day travel history of all international passengers arriving in Mumbai should be collected. He said though it is a relief that there are no direct flights from African countries impacted by the variant to Mumbai, but it is important to be vigilant and screen all international arrivals into the city. He said all international passengers will be asked to share their 15-day travel history on self-declaration forms, and their passports will be thoroughly checked.
He said the BMC-run jumbo covid centres will be operational with adequate capacity, and asked officials to carry out inspections to see if they have adequate medical workers, manpower, medical supplies, oxygen supplies.
He expressed concern at COVID inappropriate behaviour from citizens and said the civic body should restart stringent action against violators of the laid down protocols. He said only vaccinated citizens should be allowed to move around at public places and warned of strict action if employees working with shops, malls, and cinema halls are not fully vaccinated with twin doses.
He also have ordered to ensure that war rooms in each civic ward are operational at fully capacity, and asked ward officials to review what measures they should renew in view of the new threat. He said public toilets in slums areas should be disinfected at least five days during the day, and asked private hospitals to renew their efforts. Task Force members Dr Shashank Joshi and Dr Sanjay Oak also addressed the meeting.