In view of the emergence of a new coronavirus variant in the UK, the Mumbai civic body on Sunday issued revised guidelines to ensure the compulsory quarantine for 14 days for all passengers arriving from the UK, Europe, and the Middle East.
As per the amended Standard Operating Procedures (SOP), travellers will be kept under institutional quarantine after arrival and RT-PCR test will be conducted on the seventh day from the arrival at the respective hotels, institutional facilities at their own coast.
"If the report of the test is found negative, the passenger would be discharged from the institutional quarantine after seven days with the advice of seven days mandatory home quarantine. A total of 14 days quarantine is to be ensured," the Brihanmumbai Municipal Corporation (BMC) said in a release.
As per the guidelines, home quarantine stamp will be put and undertaking will be taken from the travellers that they will abide to be in home quarantine.
If the test result is found positive, passenger will be shifted to designated COVID-19 hospital like Seven Hills for UK and GT hospital for travellers from other countries for further evaluation and treatment, the release said.
Frequently Asked Questions
A vaccine works by mimicking a natural infection. A vaccine not only induces immune response to protect people from any future COVID-19 infection, but also helps quickly build herd immunity to put an end to the pandemic. Herd immunity occurs when a sufficient percentage of a population becomes immune to a disease, making the spread of disease from person to person unlikely. The good news is that SARS-CoV-2 virus has been fairly stable, which increases the viability of a vaccine.
There are broadly four types of vaccine — one, a vaccine based on the whole virus (this could be either inactivated, or an attenuated [weakened] virus vaccine); two, a non-replicating viral vector vaccine that uses a benign virus as vector that carries the antigen of SARS-CoV; three, nucleic-acid vaccines that have genetic material like DNA and RNA of antigens like spike protein given to a person, helping human cells decode genetic material and produce the vaccine; and four, protein subunit vaccine wherein the recombinant proteins of SARS-COV-2 along with an adjuvant (booster) is given as a vaccine.
Vaccine development is a long, complex process. Unlike drugs that are given to people with a diseased, vaccines are given to healthy people and also vulnerable sections such as children, pregnant women and the elderly. So rigorous tests are compulsory. History says that the fastest time it took to develop a vaccine is five years, but it usually takes double or sometimes triple that time.
However, institutional quarantine is exempted for officials working in foreign embassies and in offices of counsel general.
The guidelines under the "Vande Bharat Mission" for officials working in embassy will have to be followed for the application for exemption, it said.
"These guidelines are applicable to all passengers arriving at Mumbai International Airport from the UK, South Africa, Middle East and European countries till further orders," the release added.
In the guidelines issued on December 24, the BMC had said that people who have arrived in Mumbai from the UK in the last one month will be traced.
All the passengers arriving from UK, directly or through indirect flights should be subjected to mandatory institutional quarantine at their own cost, in the nearby hotels for seven days, the civic body had said.
Follow our full coverage of the coronavirus pandemic here.