Passengers ae being screened at Airport. (Photo Courtesy: Twitter)

As the news of the new COVID-19 variant, Omicron made it to the headlines, it has raised a sense of concern among world leaders. In India, Mumbai, the mayor, Kishori Pednekar has announced that travellers arriving in Mumbai from South Africa will be quarantined. Adding to it, the mayor informed that samples collected from these people will be sent for genome sequencing.

The announcement comes as the state governments decide to ban flights coming to India from South Africa. Reviewing the situation, Delhi Chief Minister Arvind Kejriwal also requested Prime Minister Narendra Modi to stop these flights. “I urge Hon’ble PM to stop flights from those countries which are affected by new variant. With great difficulty, our country has recovered from Corona,” he said on Twitter.

Till now, no restrictions on flights have been imposed by the Centre. However, all the state governments have been instructed to start rigorous screening and testing of all international travellers coming from African or, omicron-affected countries. In view of the new COVID-19 variant, Prime Minister Narendra Modi is scheduled to conduct a meeting to review the COVID-19 situation in the country. No COVID-19 cases with the Omicron variant have been detected in India.

Meanwhile, the World Health Organization (WHO) has categorised omicron as a ‘variant of concern’. It has 32 mutations, more than any other variant of coronavirus. After being detected in Botswana in southern Africa on November 9, omicron is fast spreading across the world. Several countries including Thailand, the EU, Australia, Saudi Arabia, Japan, and Russia have announced travel bans.

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