Mumbai: Amid the threat of the Omicron variant, Maharashtra Tourism and Environment Minister Aaditya Thackeray on Monday revealed that since November 10, around 1,000 travellers from South Africa have landed in Mumbai. “We’ve got information on the people who have arrived, thus far. Those who are in Mumbai are being contacted and the BMC is inquiring about their health status. Arrangements are being made for institutional isolation,” he revealed, after a meeting with BrihanMumbai Municipal Corporation officials.
Aaditya has raised concerns over the threat posed by the Omicron variant and reiterated that the BMC has been actively contacting and inquiring after passengers who have arrived in the city since November 10. It has also been contacting and inquiring about arrivals in the city from other countries too.
The statement comes in the wake of the Centre issuing updated guidelines, whereby all travellers entering India from countries identified as ‘countries at-risk’, regardless of their Covid-19 vaccination status will have to mandatorily undergo Covid testing at the airport on arrival, on top of the Covid testing they would have undergone 72 hours prior to departure. The Maharashtra minister’s statement came hours after Chief Minister Uddhav Thackeray expressed concern at a cabinet meeting over tracking those international passengers who had not landed directly in Mumbai but were likely to enter the state through other routes.
Thackeray had said it would be easier to stop the spread of infection if information about such travellers were shared.
At the meeting with BMC officials, Aaditya reviewed Covid preparedness measures, including vaccination and jumbo centres, in view of the appearance of the new Omicron strain. “Mumbai’s first dose is 100 per cent complete and 72 per cent have received their second dose. We will request the Union Govt to reduce the gap between two doses without altering our vaccine delivery schedule, so that we can complete 100 per cent of second doses for Mumbai by mid-January. Vaccines and masks are extremely crucial for Covid-appropriate behaviour,” he emphasised.