The Brihanmumbai Municipal Corporation (BMC) has revised Mumbai airport covid guidelines on January 4 that all overseas travellers arriving at the Mumbai airport will be required to undergo a rapid RT-PCR test.
Only international travellers travelling from ‘at-risk nations’ were required to undergo airport RT PCR test. Now Mumbai airport Rapid RT-PCR applies to all international travellers arriving in Mumbai, regardless of whether they came from an at-risk country or not.
“With the continuing threat of rising cases of COVID-19 in the past few days and detection of Variant of Concern (VOC) ‘Omicron’ suggesting increase in transmissibility, it is necessary to be cautious in implementing the public health measures to contain the spread of the pandemic. It is imperative to undertake enhanced surveillance of international travellers,” stated an order issued by municipal commissioner I S Chahal.
Revised Mumbai airport COVID guidelines
If the rapid RT PCR result of the passenger is positive, the traveller has to take an RT PCR test. The traveller will be allowed to return home and stay under self-quarantine for seven days if the RT PCR test is negative, according to the BMC.
If the passenger’s RT-PCR test results are positive and are symptomatic, the person will be admitted to Seven Hills/Bombay Hospital/Breach Candy Hospital. If a traveller is found to be positive and asymptomatic, they will be transported to BKC, Kanjurmarg Jumbo Centre, or any private hospitals or hotels named in the BMC order.
The amended Mumbai airport COVID guidelines were released a day after BMC Commissioner Iqbal Singh Chahal, in an interview with NDTV, highlighted the risk posed by international travellers travelling from non-at-risk nations. If they possess vaccination certificates, passengers from non-at-risk countries were not subjected to pre-arrival testing at Mumbai airport.
The directive tightening the Rapid RT-PCR for overseas passengers comes on the heels of a day in which the city recorded 10,860 instances, with a positive rate of 22%. In the previous 24 hours, two deaths had been reported. The number of active cases has surpassed 47,000.
The highly contagious Omicron variant is to blame for the increase of COVID-19 cases in Mumbai, according to the state’s COVID-19 task force, which estimates that the new variety is responsible for about 80% of new cases in the city.
The ruling is significant since, until now, only international travellers travelling from ‘at-risk nations’ — a list of which was released by the Union health minister last month — were required to undergo pre-arrival testing.
According to the latest directive from the civic authority, all international travellers arriving in Mumbai “shall be required to perform a quick RT PCR test,” regardless of whether they came from an at-risk country or not.