Mumbai News Highlights: Samples of 28 returnees from ‘at risk’ countries sent for genome sequencing, 9 already Covid positive, says Health Minister – The Indian Express

Mumbai Highlights: Maharashtra Health Minister Rajesh Tope on Friday said the swab samples of 28 persons, who returned to the state from high-risk countries last month with nine of them already testing Covid-19 positive, have been sent for genome sequencing amid concerns over the new Omicron variant of the virus, PTI reported.
“The international travellers who arrived in Mumbai from the high-risk countries have been identified and the swab samples of 28 such persons have been sent for genome sequencing. Out of them, nine persons have already tested Covid-19 positive. However, we are yet to establish whether they are carrying the new Omicron variant,” he said.
With the Maharashtra government amending its air travel rules in view of global concerns over the Omicron variant of coronavirus, the Brihanmumbai Municipal Corporation cancelled its previous guidelines issued to the city airport authorities and asked them to follow the revised ones as issued by the state.
According to the new guidelines, all international travellers landing at Mumbai airport must take an RT-PCR test and undergo 14-day home quarantine. Domestic passengers travelling to Maharashtra must produce a negative RT-PCR test 48 hours prior to date of journey, irrespective of vaccination status.
A 45-year-old woman from Dahisar has lodged a police complaint alleging that she was duped of Rs 37 lakh by a man who posed as a godman from Ayodhya.
The police said the alleged godman, who identified himself as Dnyaneshwar Guruji, conned the woman into paying the money over four years on the pretext of performing rituals in Uttar Pradesh that will help her overcome personal problems. Read More
After two days of rain and overcast skies, the city witnessed partly cloudy skies and dry weather on Friday. The India Meteorological Department (IMD) has forecast dry weather for the state starting Saturday in the city. In the 24 hours ending 8.30 am on Friday, the IMD’s Santacruz observatory recorded light rain of 4.3 mm in the city.
Night and day temperature marginally rose in the city over the previous day. The relative humidity Friday morning was 91 per cent and dropped to 74 per cent in the evening. Relative humidity in the winter season is usually below 50 per cent. Read More
Mumbai reported 186 new Covid-19 cases on Friday, taking the total tally to 7,63,403. The city also reported three Covid-related deaths pushing its fatality count to 16,344 while 210 discharges were also reported, taking the recovery count to 7,42,602. The active cases in Mumbai stands at 1886.
#CoronavirusUpdates
3rd December, 6:00pm#NaToCorona pic.twitter.com/1bDQwXrdVY

A day after the Maharashtra government issued a notification on increasing the number of electoral wards from 227 to 236, the State Election Commission (SEC) sent a letter to the Brihanmumbai Municipal Corporation (BMC) on Friday to start the formal redrawing of draft ward boundaries. 
BMC officials said they will start work on the change in ward boundaries and it will likely be ready in a week’s time.
After this is done, the BMC will submit the list before the SEC for approval. Following this, suggestions and objections will be invited from residents on the draft ward boundaries. The BMC polls are due in February since the five year term of the corporation is ending on March 8. (ENS)
In a letter to Chief Minister Uddhav Thackeray on Friday, Leader of Opposition Devendra Fadnavis sought that books containing the writings and speeches of Dr B R Ambedkar be published in optimum capacity to facilitate its distribution.
Alleging that the Maha Vikas Aghadi government had no interest in the project, Fadnavis said, “Dr B R Ambedkar is the architect of the Constitution, which guides our daily work. Ignoring his works and speeches by stalling its publication amounts to doing injustice to the great leader and his thoughts.” 
“Of the five lakh copies ordered for printing the works and speeches of Dr Ambedkar, only 33,000 copies have been printed. And of these 33,000 copies, only 3,675 have been distributed to the public. Paper purchased for publication purposes, worth Rs 5.45 crore, is lying unused in godowns,” he wrote. (ENS)
The special CBI Court Friday discharged Chhota Rajan in a 2002 extortion case.
According to the prosecution, some persons allegedly associated with Rajan had demanded Rs 1 crore from a garment trader and later reduced it to Rs 50 lakh after negotiation.
However, the businessman had approached the police  and the accused were apprehended. Rajan’s counsel said his client had sought discharge as there was no evidence against him and after taking over the probe from the Crime Branch, the CBI had failed to find any fresh evidence against Rajan. (ENS)
The Bombay High Court on Friday extended the time to return to jail for Elgaar Parishad accused Varavara Rao till December 20. The extension was granted after the Nanavati Hospital informed that it needs two weeks time to schedule and conduct a comprehensive medical examination of the octogenarian for various ailments.
The court also sought a schedule of the tests from the hospital, which has to be given to Rao’s counsel as well as NIA in advance, and also sought a medical report on completion of examination before the next hearing. Read More
Maharashtra Health Minister Rajesh Tope on Friday said the swab samples of 28 persons, who returned to the state from high-risk countries last month with nine of them already testing Covid-19 positive, have been sent for genome sequencing amid concerns over the new Omicron variant of the virus, PTI reported.
“The international travellers who arrived in Mumbai from the high-risk countries have been identified and the swab samples of 28 such persons have been sent for genome sequencing. Out of them, nine persons have already tested Covid-19 positive. However, we are yet to establish whether they are carrying the new Omicron variant,” he said.
Maharashtra minister Nawab Malik on Friday said the NCB has asked the state police’s Anti Narcotics Cell (ANC) to transfer its “top five cases” to the central agency, and questioned the Union government’s intentions.
The Narcotics Control Bureau’s (NCB) letter to the ANC attributed the decision to Union Home Minister Amit Shah, he claimed in a video shared on social media. He also shared the text of the purported letter.
NCB Director General S N Pradhan wrote to Maharashtra Director General of Police on November 24 asking for a list of five cases fit to be handed over to the NCB. The letter sought that state governments prepare lists of cases having “inter-state and international” ramifications and consider handing them over to the NCB to help it unearth entire networks, said the senior NCP leader. (PTI)
The National Investigation Agency (NIA) has approached the Supreme Court against the bail granted to accused Sudha Bharadwaj in the Elgaar Parishad case. The high court had granted her bail on December 1 on the ground that her detention under the Unlawful Activities Prevention Act (UAPA) was extended by a sessions court that had no power to do so.
The high court said that when a special court designated under the NIA Act existed in Pune, the sessions judge had no jurisdiction to extend the detention beyond the stipulated 90 days. It directed that she be produced before the Special NIA Court on December 8, for the conditions of her bail and date of her release to be decided. Read More
The Maharashtra government on Thursday notified the Motor Vehicles (Amendment) Act, 2019, increasing compounding fines for different traffic offences. The notification has come into effect from December 1.
For violating parking rules, not having Pollution Under Control (PUC) certificate, not being able to furnish documents, having dark film or advertisements on the glass, jumping signal and not wearing seat belt, one will have to pay Rs 500 as fine now for the first offence. For the second and consecutive offenses, one will have to pay Rs 1,500. Earlier, one had to pay Rs 200 for each offense. Read More
India Meteorological Department scientist K S Hosalikar has predicted intermittent rains in Mumbai in next 2 hours.
Pune and Mahabaleshwar and around looks cloudy with mod isolated cloud patches
Possibility of intermittent rains for during next 2 hrs.
Mumbai radar latest obs at 1440 hrs pic.twitter.com/dS9CwiErXy

As thousands of followers are expected to visit Chaitya Bhoomi at Dadar in central Mumbai on Dr B R Ambedkar’s death anniversary (Mahaparinirvan Din) on December 6, the city police have decided to put in place traffic restrictions and diversions from Saturday, an official said.
According to police, people will start arriving in the city to pay homage to Dr Ambedkar from Saturday onwards and most of them are likely to stay here till Tuesday. “In view of the large-scale congregation around Chaitya Bhoomi, the traffic movement will be diverted to the adjoining roads. For ensuring the smooth flow of traffic, some restrictions will be imposed beginning Saturday afternoon till Tuesday,” a traffic police official said.
Nashik city in Maharashtra has this week recorded the highest-ever single-day rainfall during December, the Met department has said. Unseasonal rains lashed the city and other parts of the district on December 1 and showers continued during the intervening night of Wednesday and Thursday.
Sources in the weather department said the city recorded 63.8 mm rainfall in the 24-hour period starting 8.30 am on Wednesday, which broke the all-time record for 24-hour rainfall in December. The previous record was 31 mm rainfall which was registered on December 16, 1967.
Five more persons, who arrived in Mumbai from ‘at risk countries’ tested positive for COVID-19 infection on Thursday amid concerns over the new Omicron variant of the virus, the Brihanmumbai Municipal Corporation (BMC) officials said.
The civic body’s additional municipal commissioner Suresh Kakani said the number such travellers who have tested positive on arrival in the city and who are suspected to have been infected with the Omicron variant, increased to nine. The BMC officials said that all the five travellers are males, who had arrived in the city from November 17 to December 2. 
The Maharashtra government on Thursday decided to waive the exam fee of Class X and XII state board students, who have lost their parents due to coronavirus infection. The fee to be waived is for the board exams to be conducted in 2022. 
The Maharashtra government has increased the compounding fees for various traffic offences, including driving without a licence, by issuing a notification about the implementation of the Motor Vehicles (Amendment) Act 2019, an official said on Thursday. The state government recently issued the notification about the implementation of the 2019 Act in the state and the new compounding fees for various offences came into effect from December 1, the official from the state Motor Vehicles Department (MMVD) said.
Actor Brahmaswaroop Mishra (36), better known as Brahma Mishra, was found dead Thursday afternoon at his rented residence at Yari Road in Mumbai’s Versova. Mishra was known for his roles in Haseen Dillruba (2021), Kesari (2019) and Chor Chor Super Chor (2013). The police said, prima facie, there is no foul play and the actor has died a natural death due to a heart attack. His body has been sent to Cooper Hospital for postmortem and his family members in Bhopal have been informed.

Amid growing concerns of new Covid-19 variant Omicron, the BMC has decided to conduct genome sequencing on all samples taken from those who have been infected with coronavirus in the last one week.
The civic body has already started tracing international travelers who have been landing at the Mumbai airport since November 11. If found positive, their samples are being sent for genome sequencing to check for Omicron.
Officials from BMC’s public health department said that besides international travelers, samples of infected patients from the past week are also being sent for genome sequencing as a precautionary measure.
Chief Minister Uddhav Thackeray, who underwent cervical spine surgery last month, was discharged on Thursday after spending 22 days at H N Reliance Hospital. He has been advised to work from home for the next few days, said a statement from the CM secretariat.
Thackeray (61) underwent a cervical spine surgery, which was performed by a team led by Dr Shekhar Bhojraj on November 12. Since then he was undergoing physiotherapy at the hospital.

Mumbai Today Live Update, News Mumbai Weather Live A beneficiary gets inoculated at a aaccination centre in Navi Mumbai. (Express Photo: Amit Chakravarty)
Now, Covid victims’ kin can apply online for ex-gratia
After a delay of nearly three months, the state government on Wednesday launched a website where the kin of Covid-19 deceased patients can apply for an ex-gratia of Rs 50,000. The applicants can login to mahacovid19relief.in with the help of their mobile numbers. Then they will have to fill up the details of the deceased patients along with their Aadhaar number. There is also an option to upload death certificates and hospital details.
BMC takes steps to ready Covid facilities, ramp up testing
Amid rising concerns about the new COVID-19 variant Omicron, the Brihanmumbai Municipal Corporation (BMC) is gearing up for activating COVID-related facilities and ramping up daily testing. To keep a check on the new variant or any sudden increase in daily cases, the BMC will ramp up daily testing, increase the staff in ward war rooms, and activate beds for isolation and treatment.
Currently, the BMC is conducting 29,000-35,000 tests daily at its 262 centres.

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