New COVID-19 strain in India: Ban on flights from the UK extended till January 7

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New COVID-19 strain in India: Ban on flights from the UK extended till January 7
BCCL
  • India extends temporary suspension of flights from the UK till January 7, amid concerns over the new mutant strain of COVID-19.
  • Fourteen new UK COVID-19 strain cases have been detected in India over the last 24 hours, bringing the total tally to 20.
  • From November 25 to December 23 midnight, about 33,000 passengers disembarked at various Indian airports from the UK.
India extends temporary suspension of flights from the UK till January 7, amid concerns over the new mutant strain of COVID-19. Indian civil aviation minister Hardeep Singh Puri in a tweet announced the further extension and said that “thereafter strictly regulated resumption will take place for which details will be announced shortly.”

This comes a day after Puri in a press conference hinted at the further extension and said “We are applying our minds to (on the issue of) temporary suspension of UK flights as today is December 31. A decision will be taken shortly. But I personally foresee a short extension on this temporary suspension. I don’t see the extension to be long or indefinite.”

Fourteen new UK COVID-19 strain cases have been detected in India over the last 24 hours, bringing the total tally to 20. Of the 20 cases, eight have been registered at National Centre for Disease Control in Delhi, 7 at National Institute of Mental Health and Neuro-Sciences in Bangalore, two at Cellular and Molecular Biology in Hyderabad.

From November 25 to December 23 midnight, about 33,000 passengers disembarked at various Indian airports from the UK. All these passengers are being tracked and subjected by states and Union Territories to RT-PCR tests.
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Indian suspended all flights from the United Kingdom on December 21 after reports surfaced that the country has seen a new strain of COVID-19, which has been termed as a “super spreader”. The earlier suspension was in effect till December 31.

Within a day, Netherlands, Germany, Belgium, Austria and Italy had all suspended flights from the UK. They were followed by France, Bulgaria, Belgium, the Irish Republic, Saudi Arabia, Turkey, Switzerland and Canada, who have now all suspended their flights from the UK.

It is important to note that the new UK Variant's presence has already been reported by Denmark, Netherlands, Australia, Italy, Sweden, France, Spain, Switzerland, Germany, Canada, Japan, Lebanon and Singapore. The Aviation Minister Puri added that no decision on flight bans to these countries had been taken yet, but the government is monitoring the situation.
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