There is a dispute between the Maharashtra government and the Centre over the state’s new guidelines for international travellers, which were announced due to the spread of the Omicron variant of Covid-19. The Union Health Ministry has asked the state government to revise the guidelines that are “in divergence” with central norms, and urged it to “align” them for “uniform implementation”. The state, on the other hand, has said it will not “amend or revise” its guidelines — for now.
According to the new guidelines, all international travellers landing at Mumbai airport must take an RT-PCR test and undergo 14-day home quarantine. Domestic passengers travelling to Maharashtra must produce a negative RT-PCR test 48 hours prior to date of journey, irrespective of vaccination status.
On Wednesday, four international passengers from ‘at risk’ countries tested positive for Covid-19 in Mumbai. Two came from London, one from South Africa, and one had a travel history from Mauritius. At least five people from ‘at risk’ countries have tested positive so far. Meanwhile, Mumbai recorded 108 new Covid-19 cases on Wednesday — the lowest in the last 20 months.
As fears mount over Omicron, the Brihanmumbai Municipal Corporation is ramping up daily testing, increasing staff in ward war rooms and activating beds for isolation and treatment.
In other news, Mumbai recorded its second coldest day in a decade on Wednesday at 24.8 degrees Celsius — 8 degrees Celsius below normal. On Thursday, the city is likely to see a partly cloudy sky with one or two spells of rain or thundershowers.