In view of a new contagious variant of COVID-19 being found in South Africa, Mumbai mayor Kishori Pednekar on Saturday said that all the passengers coming to the city from that country will be quarantined.
The samples of these passengers will also be sent for genome sequencing, she said.
Talking to PTI, Pednekar said the decision was taken in view of a huge new wave of COVID-19 in South Africa due to a new variant Omicron, which is highly contagious as compared to the past variants of the coronavirus.
"There is an increased risk of coronavirus in foreign countries, so those coming from outside will have to undergo genome tests," she said, adding that the Mumbai civic body is scheduled holding a meeting on this later on the day.
Pednekar, who is currently in Delhi, said that this step is taken as a precautionary measure considering the past experience of difficulty in controlling a COVID-19 wave once it starts.
Similar restrictions might come into force for the passengers coming from other countries affected by the new variant of the virus, she said.
The new COVID-19 variant B.1.1.529, first detected in South Africa this week, was on Friday designated as a 'variant of concern' by the World Health Organisation, which named it Omicron.