BREAKING NEWS – India Bans all UK Flights due to new COVID-19 Strain

by Radhakrishnan Pattabiraman

The strains of Coronovirus spread from Great Britain is showing its colours.

Several European countries have shut down travel to the UK due to this.  The Indian government follows suit.

Air India -aircraft at the gate in Mumbai | (c) Times Of India

Government of India Bans Flights from the United Kingdom

All flights originating from the United Kingdom are suspended with immediate effect.

This rule will prevail till December 31, 2020.  Passengers arriving from the UK in transit must undergo the RT-PCR test.

The Ministry of Civil Aviation took the Twitter route to convey this.

All passengers arriving from the UK in all transit flights should be subject to mandatory COVID-19 testing.

The suspension starts at 23.59 hours on 22nd December 2020 and will extend through 31st December 2020.

In a tweet from the Indian Ministry of Aviation:

“As a measure of abundant precaution, passengers arriving from the UK in all transit flights (flights that have taken off or flights which are reaching India before 22nd Dec at 23.59 hrs) should be subject to mandatory RT-PCR test on arrival at the airports concerned,”

Air India Boeing 777, © Ray Jennings/Flickr

Health Minister assures the Government’s Intent on Alertness

Union Health Minister Dr Harsh Vardhan on Monday reassured the people of the country that the Central government is alert about the new coronavirus strain emerging from the United Kingdom, advising that there is no need to panic.

“The government is alert. There is no need to panic,”

said Union Minister while addressing the curtain-raiser press conference on India International Science Festival 2020.

The UK’s Prime Minister, Boris Johnson, had announced the newly-identified strain on December 19.  He said it may be up to 70% more transmissible than the current strain in circulation: The UK’s Health Secretary, Matt Hancock, described the situation as “out of control.”

The Government of India’s Health Ministry called for an emergency meeting of its top advisors to discuss this issue.

The objective of the meeting was to understand the impact this will have as far as India is concerned.  The Joint Monitoring Group which is chaired by the Director-General of Health Services discussed this and proposed this stoppage of services.  Experts from the All India institute of medical science (AIIMS), world health organisation (WHO) representative and other senior members of the Health Ministry were part of the group.

India is not the only country to issue travel bans; Large swathes of Europe have began issuing travel bans from the UK, as the containment phase for the new Coronavirus strain begins.

What are your thoughts on this move? Let us know in the comments below

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