The State Health Department has said that six Covid positive international passengers, who landed in Maharashtra, are either asymptomatic or mildly symptomatic.

Currently, there are six passengers who arrived from South Africa or other high-risk countries in the State who have tested positive. Among those who have come from South Africa and other countries, one each has been found in Mumbai Corporation, Kalyan-Dombivali Corporation, Meera-Bhayandar Corporation and Pune, in addition to two passengers, from Nigeria, who have been found in the Pimpri-Chinchwad corporation area.

“All their samples have been sent for genetic sequencing and their contact tracing exercise is underway. All these passengers, although tested Covid positive, are either asymptomatic or mildly symptomatic. Genetic changes/mutation in viruses is a natural phenomenon and people should not panic,” said the State Health Department in a press release.

The Public Health Department has appealed to citizens to follow Covid-appropriate behaviour, inform the Public Health Department authorities if they have had an international travel history in the last month, and those who have not taken Covid-19 vaccine or have had only one dose should complete their vaccination at the earliest.

Omicron variant

Surveillance of international passengers has started, as per the guidelines given by the Government of India. Passengers arriving from Europe and other 11 countries, where the Omicron variant has been detected, will be tested and positive samples will be sent for whole genome sequencing, the Health Department added.

Additionally, those who are found RT-PCR negative will also be quarantined for seven days before testing again. If they are found positive this time around, their samples, too, will be sent for genomic sequencing. As per the Government of India guidelines, RT-PCR test will be done for random 5 per cent of the passengers arriving from countries other than the listed ones, and positive samples among them will be sent for genomic sequencing.