Extension of UK Flights Ban Likely: Puri After COVID Strain Cases

Six people who returned from the UK to India tested positive with the new UK coronavirus variant genome.

2 min read
Union Minister Hardeep Singh Puri.

After six people returning from the United Kingdom to India were found to be positive with the new strain of COVID-19, Union Civil Aviation Minister Hardeep Singh Puri on Tuesday, 29 December said that he foresees a “short extension” of the suspension of flights from the country to contain the spread.

“I foresee a short extension on this temporary suspension. I do not see the extension to be long or indefinite,” Puri said while addressing media, as quoted by ANI.

“The passengers who came in from the time of the announcement to the next day were subjected to compulsory quarantine at the point of arrival. Even those who tested negative were required to go in mandatory quarantine. We went one step further and did contact tracing and genome sequencing of passengers from the UK who have come to India since 25 November,” Puri said, as quoted by ANI.

Puri’s statement also comes while the Health Ministry notified that international passengers who have arrived in India between 9-22 December and are symptomatic and tested positive for COVID-19 will be subjected to genome sequencing.

Flights from the UK are currently banned in India and several other countries over concerns of the new strain.

Six people, who had returned from the United Kingdom to India, have been found to be positive with the new UK coronavirus variant genome, the government said on Tuesday.

"All these persons have been kept in single-room isolations in designated healthcare facilities by respective state governments. Their close contacts have also been put under quarantine. Comprehensive contact tracing has been initiated for co-travellers, family contacts and others. Genome sequencing on other specimens is going on," the government said in a release.

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