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Mumbai (Maharashtra) [India], December 1 (ANI): Amid the threat of Omicron variant of the novel coronavirus in the country, the Union Health Ministry on Wednesday has written to the Maharashtra government stating that the state's guidelines on RTPC tests and quarantine of international passengers was "in divergence" with the COVID-19 guidelines issued by the Centre.

A letter written by Union health secretary Rajesh Bhushan to Pradeep Kumar Vyas, Additional Chief Secretary, Maharasthra's Health and Family Welfare department, asked the state to align the orders issued by the State with the Standard Operating Protocols issued by the Centre.

"I would, therefore, urge you to align the Orders issued by the State with the Guidelines issued by the Ministry of HealthFamily Welfare, Govt. Of lndia, so that uniform implementation of the guidelines may be ensured across all States/UTs," Bhushan wrote.

Bhushan also advised that such modified orders of the state government are given wide publicity to obviate any inconvenience to travellers.

On November 30, the Maharashtra government issued stringent guidelines for air travel in view of the new COVID-19 variant, Omicron.

It mandated 7-day institutional quarantine for travellers arriving in the state from 'at-risk' countries under the guidelines issued by the Maharashtra State Disaster Management Authority.

Such passengers will also undergo-PCR test on the second, fourth and seventh day of arrival and if found to be Covid-19 positive, the passenger will be shifted to a hospital. In case the test is negative, the passenger will still have to undergo seven-day home quarantine.

According to Maharashtra government guidelines, there will be RTPCR testing of all international travellers, irrespective of country of originMaharashtra has imposed mandatory 14-day home quarantine for all international passengers, despite being tested RTPCR negative upon arrival.

As per the new guidelines issued on November 28 by the Union health ministry, passengers originating or transiting from at-risk countries will have to undergo-PCR testing post-arrival and will be required to wait for the results at the airport before leaving or taking a connecting flight.

Travellers from countries excluding those countries at risk will be allowed to leave the airport and shall self-monitor their health for 14 days post-arrival but five percent of the total flight passengers shall undergo post-arrival testing at random at the airport on arrival. (ANI)

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