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Opinion

India May Extend UK Flight Ban, Says Hardeep Singh Puri

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India is likely to extend the ban on flights from Britain in a bid to contain the spread of a new strain of coronavirus, Civil Aviation Minister Hardeep Singh Puri said on Tuesday.

“I anticipate a slight extension of the temporary suspension. I don’t expect that extension to be long or indefinite. In the next day or two, we will find out if further action is necessary or when we can begin to ease the current temporary suspension, ”said Hardeep Singh Puri.

India had suspended all flights from Britain last week until the end of the month, as the new variant of the virus detected in the UK prompted widespread concern and travel restrictions around the world.

“Taking into account the prevailing situation in the UK, the Government of India has decided that all flights originating in the UK to India will be temporarily suspended until 31 December 2020 (11:59 pm). This suspension will begin at 11:59 p.m. on December 22, 2020, ”the ministry had announced.

Read also | Covid-19: 18 UK returnees to Kerala test positive, samples sent to NIV Pune to study variant

The Union Health Ministry said on Tuesday that all international passengers who have arrived in India during the last 14 days, from December 9 to December 22 this year, if they are symptomatic and tested positive for the disease. of the coronavirus, will have to undergo genome sequencing.

The variant of the coronavirus, which could be up to 70% more transmissible, is spreading rapidly in Britain and is not believed to be more deadly or cause more serious illness, according to Prime Minister Boris Johnson and his board of scientific advisers. .

Governments around the world are also taking action as a fast-spreading variant spreads across South Africa, with the UK banning flights from that country. Hong Kong has banned all recent travelers from South Africa and extended a mandatory quarantine for most other visitors in an attempt to prevent the spread of Covid-19 cases in the city.

Hindustan Times

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