New Delhi | Jagran News Desk: Are you in home quarantine? Get ready to answer this question five times a day if you are an international passenger and have recently returned to Mumbai from 'at risk' countries. The comes after the Brihanmumbai Municipal Corporation (BMC) issued fresh guidelines for international travellers amid fears over the Omicron variant detected in South Africa last week.

As per the guidelines issued by the BMC, the 'ward war room' in Mumbai will call all international passengers five times, reminding them to stay in home quarantine and monitor their health for the next seven days. Medical teams and ambulances will also be sent regularly to check whether the passengers are following the home quarantine rules, the guidelines read.

"As per Omicron guidelines, everyday CEO, MIAL will send a single line list of international travellers arriving in Mumbai in the preceding 24 hours, to disaster management unit, which will further forward it ward-wise to Ward War Rooms and Medical Officer of Health," the BMC said.

Mumbai has been one of the worst-hit COVID-19 cities in India. The city's total caseload stands at 7.63 lakh while over 16,300 have succumbed to the infection. As per the BMC, more than 7.42 lakh patients have recovered from the infection while the active caseload is over 1,800.

On Friday, the BMC said that nine international travellers, including one from South Africa, who arrived at Mumbai International Airport between November 10 to December 2 have tested positive for COVID-19.

The BMC said that it has sent the samples of the patients for genome sequencing to find out if they are positive for the new Omicron variant. Meanwhile, the Centre on Thursday informed that two people have tested positive for the Omicron variant in Karnataka.

The new variant of COVID-19 was first reported to the World Health Organisation (WHO) from South Africa on November 25. As per the WHO, the first known confirmed B.1.1.529 infection was from a specimen collected on November 9 this year. On November 26, the WHO named the new COVID-19 variant B.1.1.529, which has been detected in South Africa, as 'Omicron'. The WHO has classified Omicron as a 'variant of concern'.

Posted By: Aalok Sensharma