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Centre considering extension of UK-India flight ban

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The Union government is contemplating to extend the ban on flights between the UK and India due to the new strain of coronavirus detected in Britain. The ban on flights between the two countries is already applicable till December 31. The ban on flights was implemented from December 23

Union civil aviation minister Hardeep Singh Puri has said that a slight extension in the temporary suspension of flights between the UK and India is likely. “I foresee a slight extension of temporary suspension of India-UK flights. In the next day or two, we will find out if any additional steps need to be taken, or when we can start easing the current temporary suspension,” the minister said during a press conference.

Several countries have suspended their flight operations to and from the UK over the mutated strain of coronavirus that is more infectious than the other strains. Apart from the UK, the virus strain has been confirmed in several countries, including India. The other countries that have confirmed the presence of the virus include Denmark, Netherlands, Australia, Italy, Sweden, France, Spain, Switzerland, Germany, Canada, Japan, Lebanon and Singapore.

UK passengers test positive

Six persons who returned to India from the UK have tested positive for the new UK variant genome of coronavirus. The revelation came from the Union health ministry at a time when the daily surge in COVID-19 cases is on the decline.

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The ministry said the mutated UK strain was detected in samples in NIMHANS, Bengaluru, in CCMB, Hyderabad and one in NIV, Pune. All these persons have been kept in single room isolation at designated health care facilities by respective state governments and their close contacts have also been put under quarantine, the ministry said.

“Comprehensive contact tracing has been initiated for co-travellers, family contacts and others. Genome sequencing on other specimens is going on. The situation is under careful watch and regular advice is being provided to the states for enhanced surveillance, containment, testing and dispatch of samples to INSACOG labs,” the ministry said.

 

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