India extends ban on UK flights till Jan 7 over new COVID-19 strain; 20 cases reported

Last Updated: Wednesday, 30 December 2020 (16:07 IST)
New Delhi: The government on Wednesday extended ban on the United Kingdom flights till January 7 after detection of the nCoV’s new variant cases in the country, Minister of Civil Aviation Hardeep Singh Puri said here.

“Decision has been taken to extend the temporary suspension of flights to & from the UK till 7 January 2021. Thereafter strictly regulated resumption will take place for which details will be announced shortly,” Mr Puri tweeted.
 
However, the ban will not be extended further, he added.
 
Flight ban from the UK had been done following detection of new strain in Britain, and was effective from 2359 hours December 22 upto midnight of December 31 earlier.
 
India has so far reported 20 cases of the new COVID-19 variant.
 
Yesterday, Civil Aviation Minister had said that India is likely to extend the ban on flights from Britain in a bid to contain the spread of a new strain of the Novel first detected in the UK.
 
“I foresee a slight extension of the temporary suspension. I don’t expect that extension to be a long or indefinite extension. 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,” he had said.
 
The Union Health Ministry said that the UK returnees’ swab samples, who came between November 25 and December 23 and were tested positive for the virus, were sent to different labs of Insacog for further investigation. (UNI)