MUMBAI: With a new strain of the 'SARS-CoV-2' virus wreaking havoc in the United Kingdom, closer home, the Brihanmumbai Municipal Corporation and the state government have decided to intensify their strategy to deal with the crisis. The civic body will now retrospectively track all those who have returned to Mumbai from the United Kingdom since November 25.
In a statement issued on Wednesday, the civic administration has appealed to all those who have returned to Mumbai from the affected regions in the last one month to contact the civic ward war rooms. The civic body has also advised the returnees to get themselves tested to clear any doubts about their health.
"It has come to notice that many who could have contracted the virus might be asymptomatic. Hence it is advisable they get tested and report to ward war rooms. Ward war rooms extend all the help and required support. It is better to take all precautions, now that we have managed to get a better grip on dealing with the virus after so many months," said a senior BMC official.
He added, "We have already put out the contact numbers of our ward war rooms on the websites on social media etc. It is a request to the citizens to stay alert and follow safety protocol."
The state government has procured a list of passengers who have arrived in Mumbai from the UK since November 25. The health officials will be tracing and contacting them to check on their health and keep an update of the same.
The state government has directed its respective district officials and municipal administrations to trace and get RT-PCR tests of the returnees immediately. According to a bulletin of the state health department, those found positive in RT-PCR tests will have their samples sent to the National Institute of Virology, Pune, to test for the new strain.
Detailed guidelines have been issued by the Ministry of Health and Family Welfare of the Central government, as well as the Government of Maharashtra and the BMC, on the measures to be taken with regard to people returning from the affected regions. "To prevent the spread of this new virus in Mumbai, various guidelines have been issued by use on the lines of Central and State Government for passengers coming from England, for effective control of the spread of Covid-19. We need people to cooperate with us. We are all prepared to deal with the situation," said BMC commissioner Iqbal Singh Chahal.
He added, "Citizens who have come to Mumbai from England around November 25, 2020, that is within a period of one month, should contact the BMC's ward war room. They should get a preliminary medical check-up from the family medical consultant (family doctor) / nearest municipal hospital/health centre etc done. Citizens returning from the UK should take the Covid-19 test to eliminate doubt. Also, the proper use of masks, regular hand hygiene, maintaining safe distance should be followed, the way we have been doing so far. There is no need to panic if you develop any symptoms related to Covid-19, such as fever, phlegm, difficulty in breathing or any other symptoms. Contact the wardroom of the corporation immediately."