Mumbai: In view of the threat from COVID-19 variant Omicron, the Chhatrapati Shivaji Maharaj International Airport on Wednesday started segregating passengers arriving here from the ‘high-risk’ countries, after six were found infected in the past few days, an official said.
The new exercise was implemented after six international passengers tested positive for COVID-19, including two from South Africa and the rest from other high-risk countries in the past few days.
According to a state government official, one each was found positive in Mumbai, Kalyan-Dombivali and Mira-Bhayander, while one is from Pune and two others from Pimpri-Chinchwad.
Though all have tested positive, they are asymptomatic or displaying mild symptoms, but their samples have been sent for genetic sequencing and their contact tracing has been taken up.
As per the current guidelines, all passengers arriving from Europe and 11 other nations will be tested and samples of those found positive will be sent for genomic sequencing.
Those found negative shall also undergo quarantine for seven days before testing again, and random tests on 5 per cent of all passengers landing here shall be conducted with positive reports to be sent for genetic sequencing.
The CSMIA has also made adequate RT-PCR testing facilities at 48 registration counters and 40 sampling booths for international arrivals.
Besides three labs have been set up - Lifenity, Suburban Diagnostics and Acu-MDx (Mylabs) for the testing purposes.
Besides the existing regular RT-PCR, 30 Rapid PCR machines are made available for the passengers intending to catch connecting onward flights with short gaps, and the facilities shall be upscaled further if required.
For those passengers who have not pre-booked online RT-PCR tests, QR codes are displayed at various locations in the arrival corridor.
Physical forms for RT-PCR registration are available to the passengers on board which they can fill up before disembarking from the flight to avoid queues on arrival.
“The CSMIA has undertaken all necessary precautions to mitigate the spread of the new covid variant. For CSMIA, passengers safety, well-being, and security is of utmost importance,” said a spokesperson.