MUMBAI, India — The Brihanmumbai Municipal Corporation—the governing civic body of western Indian city, Mumbai— has made the RT-PCR (Covid-19) test mandatory for international passengers arriving at the Mumbai airport from Sept. 3, after discovering a new strain of the Covid-19 variant C.1.2.
“RT-PCR test mandatory for international passengers arriving at Mumbai Airport from UK, Europe, Middle East, South Africa, Brazil, Bangladesh, Botswana, China, Mauritius, New Zealand, Zimbabwe upon arrival at the airport at their own cost, in the wake of the discovery of a new strain of Covid-19,” said the corporation in a statement.
As per the government’s new guidelines, institutional quarantine for international passengers traveling by air has been abolished. However, some new policies were introduced for international travelers.
Government sources said the new Covid-19 variant C.1.2, first reported in South Africa, has not been found in India.
On Aug. 31, Maria Van Kerkhove, the World Health Organization’s technical lead for Covid-19, said that C.1.2 variant had been found in at least six countries.
According to WHO, the researchers in South Africa first presented their findings on variant C.1.2 to the WHO Virus Evolution Working Group on July 21.
The new variant was first reported in South Africa in May. Researchers have described the C.1.2 variant with 40-59 mutations more than the original coronavirus. The research involves scientists from the National Institute for Communicable Diseases and the KwaZulu-Natal Research Innovation and Sequencing Platform.
The World Health Organization said that to date, there are 100 sequences of C.1.2 reported globally from the earliest reports from South Africa, and currently, it does not appear to be “increasing in circulation.”
The new variant was first reported in South Africa in May.
Researchers have described the C.1.2 variant with 40-59 mutations more than the original coronavirus. The research involves scientists from the National Institute for Communicable Diseases and the KwaZulu-Natal Research Innovation and Sequencing Platform.
However, experts said that the variant is not a cause of concern or citizens do not need to get anxious based on the researchers’ data.
“Too early to conclude much. It is a variant of interest and will be monitored,” said Anurag Agrawal, Director, Council of Scientific and Industrial Research’s Institute of Genomics and Integrative Biology.
As per the Brihanmumbai Municipal Corporation report, the city of Mumbai saw 416 cases and four deaths on Sept. 1.
On Aug. 16, the numbers fell below 200 and recorded the second wave’s lowest daily cases.
“Aug. 31, 6:00 pm Positive Pts. (24 hrs) — 323 Discharged Pts. (24 hrs) — 272 Total Recovered Pts. — 7,22,621 Overall Recovery Rate — 97 percent Total Active Pts. — 3106 Doubling Rate — 1511 Days Growth Rate (Aug. 24 — Aug. 30) — 0.05 percent,” tweeted the Brihanmumbai Municipal Corporation.
(With inputs from ANI)
Edited by Saptak Datta and Ritaban Misra
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