Authorities to trace co-passengers of SA returnee who tested Covid-19 positive
The Brihanmumbai Municipal Corporation (BMC) on Monday said it will trace and test passengers who travelled with a 32-year-old South Africa returnee from Delhi. The returnee tested positive for Covid-19 and is under isolation. He landed at the Mumbai Airport on November 24 from Delhi via Dubai.
Officials said the man’s sample was taken at the Delhi airport and later allowed to board a flight. After arriving in Mumbai, he went home in a cab while his sample tested positive for Covid-19.
A BMC official said they will trace and screen the passengers, who sat in rows around the infected passenger. “We will also certainly trace the cab driver with whom he went to Dombivali from the Mumbai Airport.”
Kalyan Dombivali Municipal Corporation (KDMC) officials said the man was put in institutional quarantine on Sunday and is stable. “We have tested the family of the South Africa returnee...and they all have reported negative. The passenger is also stable now and his reports of genomic sequencing are awaited. We are doing contact tracing in coordination with BMC. For now, things are under control,” said Pratibha Panpatil, Health Officer, KDMC.
South Africa is among the countries classified as “at-risk” following the detection of the Omicron variant of Covid-19. The World Health Organisation has dubbed Omicron a variant of concern after early evidence showed it could be more transmissible, and resistant to immunity from past infection or vaccination.
BMC officials said around 466 people have come from countries of concern over the last two weeks. Of these, 97 were contacted and none is positive. The BMC is expected to test on Monday at least 97 travellers. It has issued an advisory requesting people to take more precautions and said all international passengers arriving at the Mumbai airport from “countries of concern” will undergo mandatory RT-PCR testing for Covid-19. If found positive, the passengers will be sent for institutional quarantine and their samples would be sent for genome sequencing.