In wake of the discovery of a new COVID strain, C.1.2, the Brihanmumbai Municipal Corporation has revised and updated the travel norms for international passengers reaching Mumbai. An RT-PCR test is mandatory for all foreign travellers, effective from September 3. As per reports, the new virus mutation was first reported in South Africa and has been detected in about 7 countries so far. As yet, the variant has not been found in India so far, informed government sources.
New travel norms for international flyers in Mumbai
The BMC has updated its guard against the entry of the 'highly mutated' C.1.2 strain of coronavirus by changing travel norms for international travellers. The civic body has scrapped the provision of institutional quarantine for such flyers and has introduced new rules and protocols to prevent the invasion of the mutation due to unmonitored travel.
An RT-PCR test is now compulsory for international travellers arriving in Mumbai from UK, Europe, Middle East, South Africa, Brazil, Bangladesh, Botswana, China, Mauritius, New Zealand, Zimbabwe The cost of the COVID-19 test shall be borne by the passengers, added the BMC.
Passengers flying from the CSMIA to any destination, except for those listed about, also have to produce a negative RT-PCR test report conducted within 72 hours of the journey. This norm shall also be imposed on flyers taking connecting flights via Mumbai.
All passengers arriving in the city will be subjected to mandatory 14 day home quarantine, instead of an institutional one now. All exemptions awarded to fully vaccinated passengers and passengers over 65 years of age have also be been revoked, from September 3, read reports.
Mutated C.1.2 evades vaccine protection
The C.1.2 variant is being considered to be more infectious and has shown signs of evading protection provided by vaccines. Thus, chances of getting COVID-19 infected run significantly high even for vaccinated individuals, which beats the overall cause of the immunity campaign.
According to the World Health Organisation, researchers in South Africa first presented at least 40-59 more mutations in the C.1.2 variant than the original strain found in Wuhan, China. As per reports, the research involves scientists from the National Institute for Communicable Diseases (NICD) and the KwaZulu-Natal Research Innovation and Sequencing Platform (KRISP).