With the ongoing surge of Covid cases in western countries, the Brihanmumbai Municipal Corporation (BMC) has now requested that the state task force members ask for genome sequencing reports of passengers flying in from Europe, USA and Russia. The move comes amid fears of a spurt in Covid cases through the coming days on account of an increased flow of tourists during the Christmas season.
Officials said the genome sequencing report is being sought in a bid to control the spread of the SARS-CoV-2 virus. Additional municipal commissioner Suresh Kakani said the BMC is taking all necessary measures to control the spread in the city and that they have requested details of the variant responsible for the surge in other countries. Moreover, the civic body is also collecting samples from passengers coming to Mumbai from Covid-affected countries.
“Our aim is to check the efficacy of our vaccines on the new variants of coronavirus. In case of some new variant, for which the vaccine is not effective, we will make other preparations in the city accordingly,” Kakani said. Meanwhile, the delta variant continues to be dominant among Covid cases in Mumbai, as per the BMC’s fourth genome-sequencing report. A member of the state Covid-19 task force said the Delta variant and its derivatives have posed a challenge to the medical community for months.
“India is still in the Delta mode. As long as the Delta variant is still dominant, it is unlikely that any of the derivatives such as AY.4.2 will pose a big threat to the country,” he said. As per the current norms, fully vaccinated passengers are allowed to leave the airport without Rt-PCR tests. At present, the Government of India has an agreement with 99 countries for mutual recognition certificates of individuals who are fully vaccinated with a nationally recognised or WHO-recognised Covid-19 vaccine.
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