Genome sequencing of passengers arriving at Mumbai airport from South Africa, the place a brand new coronavirus variant of concern has been detected, shall be executed if any particular person is discovered constructive for COVID-19, the town’s mayor stated in the present day.
Genome is like an instruction guide that accommodates details about the make-up of an organism, and genome sequencing is a way that reads and interprets genetic data.
The transfer for genome sequencing amid worries over the brand new variant, referred to as Omicron, comes after a number of nations introduced flight bans on South Africa arrivals.
“There are considerations in Mumbai concerning the new variant of coronavirus. Genome sequencing of (constructive) passengers coming from South Africa shall be executed. There isn’t a restriction on outbound flights in any approach. However this choice has been taken preserving in view previous expertise,” Mumbai mayor Kishori Pednekar stated in the present day.
“There may be an elevated danger of COVID-19 in different nations, so these coming from overseas should bear genome check. I request everybody to take care of social distancing and put on masks in order that this new menace will be stopped,” Ms Pednekar stated.
Prime Minister Narendra Modi met with prime officers to overview the COVID-19 and vaccination state of affairs within the nation this morning amid considerations over the Omicron pressure. The variant – first detected in South Africa this week, and since reported from Botswana, Hong Kong, Israel, and Belgium – is believed to have 50 mutations, together with over 30 on the spike protein and 10 on the receptor binding area.
The spike protein is the goal of most present COVID-19 vaccines and is what the virus makes use of to unlock entry to our physique’s cells. Researchers are nonetheless attempting to verify whether or not this makes it extra transmissible or deadly than earlier variants, and if current vaccines can defend in opposition to the pressure.
Dutch well being authorities stated that dozens of people that arrived in Amsterdam on two flights from South Africa yesterday had been seemingly contaminated with COVID-19, and they’re conducting additional testing to see if individuals are contaminated with the lately found Omicron variant, information company Reuters reported.