After the detection of the new fast spreading strain of COVID in Britain, India which is fighting tooth and nail to constrain the virus on Wednesday have decided to extend the one-week long ban on flights from the United Kingdom from 31st December to 7 January next year.
The development came after 20 people, who have returned from the UK to India, tested positive for the new Covid-19 variant, which is 20% more infectious.
As per reports, on Tuesday six UK returnees tested positive for the new Covid-19 strain.
Civil aviation Minister, Hardeep Singh Puri in his tweet said, “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,” Puri wrote on Twitter.
Earlier, the minister said that the country is likely to extend the temporary suspension of flights to and from the UK beyond 31 December.
“I foresee a slight extension of the temporary suspension,” the civil aviation minister had said.
After the new fast spreading strain of COVID was discovered in Britain, the Indian government has been on an all-time alert.
The centre has asked for a genome sequencing for all the international passengers who arrived in India during last 14 days before the travel ban to UK and were tested positive for Covid-19.
The genome sequencing of the symptomatic or positive passengers will be done for those who travelled in the country from 9 December to 22 December, 2020, the government said.
While the new strain of COVID discovered in the UK is believed to be 70% more transmissible than the older strain, scientists have said it is less lethal.
Experts have suggested that the Covid-19 vaccines currently in development will be effective against the new strain as well.