New Virus in India: India suspends UK flights as ‘abundant precaution’
India will suspend flights from and to the UK from Tuesday midnight till December 31, joining others in announcing travel bans over a new strain of the coronavirus in the European country.
Europe and regions from Canada to Hong Kong suspended travel links to the UK, as a full lockdown came into force in London and southeast England to contain a mutation to the coronavirus.
“As a measure of abundant precaution, passengers arriving from UK in all transit flights (flights that have taken off or flights which are reaching India before 22nd Dec at 23.59 hrs) must be subject to mandatory RT-PCR test on arrival at the airports concerned,” said India’s civil aviation ministry on Twitter, referring to a medical scan to detect the disease.
India is “fully” alert and people must not panic about the new coronavirus strain, said Health Minister Harsh Vardhan on Monday. “I would say this to all that all these imaginary situations, imaginary talks, imaginary panic… don’t involve yourself in this,” he said in Responding to a question about banning flights from the UK.
“The government is fully alert about everything. If you ask me, there is no reason to panic the way we are seeing in this press conference,” he said, according to PTI.
Delhi Chief Minister Arvind Kejriwal had asked for a ban all flights from the UK.
A mutant strain of the coronavirus spreading rapidly in the U.K. led Prime Minister Boris Johnson to clamp down on holiday visits at home and abroad over the weekend. Airlines shares tumbled as Italy, the Netherlands and Belgium closed their borders to the former European Union state, with others preparing to follow suit, reported Bloomberg.