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With four more patients testing positive for the new strain Omicron, Maharashtra's overall tally has increased to 32, according to the state health department on Wednesday.

A 67-year-old man in the Buldhana district of Maharashtra has tested positive for this variant of Covid-19 on his return from Dubai.

Resident deputy collector of Buldhana, Dinesh Gite, said the senior citizen is a local resident, who returned to Buldhana from Dubai on December 3. He tested positive for COVID-19 on December 8, following which he was admitted to a hospital and his sample sent for genome sequencing. 

"The report that came today confirmed that he is infected with the Omicron strain," he said. Gite said that the patient's condition is stable and he is keeping well. His family members and other close contacts have tested negative for the infection, the collector added.

Before this, 12 Omicron infection cases were found in Mumbai, 10 in Pimpri-Chinchwad (an industrial township in Pune district), two in Pune city, one each in Kalyan-Dombivali, Nagpur, Latur and Vasai-Virar, officials have said.

So far, Maharashtra has reported the highest number of cases at 32, followed by Rajasthan at 17. Omicron cases have also been reported in Karnataka (3), Gujarat (4), Kerala (1) and Andhra Pradesh (1) and Union Territories of Delhi (6) and Chandigarh (1).

RT-PCR tests must for passengers from ‘at-risk’ nations

Under the Centre's new norms, RT-PCR tests are mandatory for passengers arriving from the "at-risk" countries and they can only leave the airport only after the results come.

Passengers coming from 'at-risk' countries to six major Indian airports have to compulsorily pre-book for the on-arrival RT-PCR test from December 20 onwards, the Civil Aviation Ministry said on Tuesday.

However, it clarified that in case a person faces any difficulty in pre-booking the test, the passenger must not be denied boarding.

The six airports are in Delhi, Mumbai Kolkata, Chennai, Bengaluru and Hyderabad.

According to the Union health ministry, 'at-risk countries include those in Europe including the United Kingdom, South Africa, Brazil, Botswana, Zimbabwe, Tanzania, Hong Kong, China, Ghana, Mauritius, New Zealand and Israel.

Also, two percent of the passengers arriving on flights from other countries are being tested randomly.

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