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Omicron in Mumbai? One More Week to Know, Says BMC

The WHO has advised countries to step up on genomic surveillance to better identify potentially problematic variants of Sars-CoV-2

The WHO has advised countries to step up on genomic surveillance to better identify potentially problematic variants of Sars-CoV-2

The BMC has reached out to and tested 100 others who arrived in the city over the last fortnight from countries where Omicron variant has been detected.

As the Brihanmumbai Municipal Corporation (BMC) prepares for its sixth genome sequencing after a man who returned from South Africa to Dombivali on November 24 tested positive for coronavirus, it will take another week to know if Omicron is present in Mumbai. The man’s samples have been taken to BMC’s genome laboratory located in Kasturba Hospital on Monday morning. The result will be known after seven days, Kalyan-Dombivali Municipal Corporation (KDMC) epidemic control officer Dr Pratibha Panpatil said.

The BMC has reached out to and tested 100 others who arrived in the city over the last fortnight from countries where Omicron variant has been detected. According to officials, no one has tested positive. Around 400 others who arrived in the last 15 days live outside city limits or in other districts.

At least 1,000 travelers landed in Mumbai in the last fortnight from African countries, a senior official of the city civic body said. Swab samples were collected of at least 100 travellers out of the 466 whose list was received so far, Brihanmumbai Municipal Corporation’s (BMC) Additional Municipal Commissioner Suresh Kakani told.

“We already have 200 Covid-positive samples collected as per our routine protocol from hospitals and airport,” Kakani was quoted by Times of India as saying. He also said that the BMC will collect another 100 to 150 samples before beginning the genome sequencing, which will take over three days to be completed. “We may have the answers only by the weekend or Monday,” Kakani said.

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Meanwhile, Maharashtra reported 536 fresh coronavirus positive cases, the lowest in a single day after April 27 last year, and 21 fatalities, a state health department official said. On April 27, 2020, Maharashtra had logged 522 cases. BMC officials, however, said that low tally could be due to the ‘Monday effect’, with fewer tests conducted on Sunday.

State officials added that, with low daily caseload and increase in vaccination, people seem to be letting their guard down by not following Covid-appropriate behaviour.

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first published:November 30, 2021, 09:12 IST