Mumbai's civic body Brihanmumbai Municipal Corporation (BMC) has made RT-PCR tests mandatory for international passengers arriving at the city airport from September 3 after the discovery of a new strain of the coronavirus - C.1.2.
"RT-PCR test mandatory for international passengers arriving at Mumbai Airport from UK, Europe, Middle East, South Africa, Brazil, Bangladesh, Botswana, China, Mauritius, New Zealand, Zimbabwe upon arrival at the airport at their own cost, in wake of the discovery of a new strain of Covid-19," the BMC said in a statement.
As per the new guidelines, the provision of institutional quarantine for international passengers travelling by air has been scrapped. However, some new guidelines have been introduced for international travellers.
The new Covid variant C.1.2, which was first reported in South Africa, has not been found in India so far, government sources told news agency ANI.
Maria Van Kerkhove, the World Health Organization's technical lead for Covid-19 on Tuesday said that C.1.2 variant has been found in at least six countries.
According to the World Health Organisation, researchers in South Africa first presented their findings on the C.1.2 variant to the WHO Virus Evolution Working Group on July 21.
The new variant was first reported in South Africa in May. Researchers have described the C.1.2 variant, which has 40-59 mutations more than the original Wuhan virus. The research involves scientists from the National Institute for Communicable Diseases (NICD) and the KwaZulu-Natal Research Innovation and Sequencing Platform (KRISP).