Aviation Minister Hardeep Singh Puri on Tuesday said he foresees a slight extension of temporary suspension of passenger flights between India and the UK, where a new variant of the coronavirus has been detected.
The Civil Aviation Ministry had last week suspended all flights between that country and India from December 23 to December 31 over the mutated variant of the virus. "I foresee a slight extension of temporary suspension of India-UK flights," the minister told a press conference.
"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 said.
Separately, the Union health ministry informed that all the international passengers who have arrived in India during the past 14 days—from December 9-22—if symptomatic and tested positive will be subjected to genome sequencing, in the view of new COVID strain in the United Kingdom.
On December 21, India joined various nations around the world as it suspended all passenger flights connecting to the UK from Wednesday till December 31 in the wake of the emergence of a mutated variant of the coronavirus there.
The Centre had also released a new set of SOPs for sending passengers, found to be COVID-19-positive, to institutional quarantine set up by states or union territories (UTs).