Amid more cases of the mutated coronavirus strain from the UK being detected in India, the Union government on Wednesday extended the ban on flights to and from the UK. The ban that was applicable till December 31 has now been extended till January 7.
Notably, India had initially banned UK flights on December 23 that was applicable till the year-end.
Civil aviation minister Hardeep Singh Puri tweeted, “Decision has been taken to extend the temporary suspension of flights to and from the UK till 7 January 2021. Thereafter, strictly regulated resumption will take place for which details will be announced shortly.”
On Tuesday, the minister had said that the government is contemplating an extension of the flight ban considering the prevalent situation. He had said 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.
20 cases of mutated coronavirus
In a major cause of concern, 14 fresh cases of the new coronavirus strain detected in the UK have been found in India. The addition of the fresh cases has taken the total tally of persons infected with the new coronavirus strain to 20, the health ministry informed on Wednesday.
The Centre had on Tuesday said that 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.
Presence of the mutated UK strain in several countries
It is important to note that the presence of the new UK variant has already been reported by Denmark, Netherlands, Australia, Italy, Sweden, France, Spain, Switzerland, Germany, Canada, Japan, Lebanon and Singapore, so far, the ministry said.
Notably, after the new mutated strain of the virus came to the fore, several countries have banned flight operations to and from the UK, whereas many countries have made COVID-19 test reports mandatory for passengers.
To read the latest news in Gujarati click here