India-UK Flights Resume; Plane With 256 Passengers Lands In Delhi Amid Scare About New Strain

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Flights from the United Kingdom resumed on Friday in a limited capacity amid concerns about the new strain of the coronavirus that was recently detected in the UK.

The first flight carrying 256 passengers arrived in Delhi today from London, airport officials informed ANI.

The ban on flights to the UK was lifted on January 6. 30 flights will operate each week – 15 each by Indian and UK carriers. This schedule will continue till January 23, Civil Aviation Minister Hardeep Singh Puri had informed earlier.

Passengers will have to take an RT-PCR test up to 72 hours before a flight and on arrival.

Meanwhile, leaders, including Rajasthan and Delhi Chief Ministers Ashok Gehlot and Arvind Kejriwal, hit out at the Centre for partially lifting the ban and urged authorities to extend the ban.

“Cases of the new corona strain from Britain are increasing in India. The government of India should reconsider the decision to resuming flights from Britain after January 7,” the Rajasthan CM said.

Kejriwal asked why the ban had been lifted and urged for it to be extended till January 31.

“With great difficulty, people have brought the COVID situation in control. UK’s COVID situation is very serious. Now, why lift the ban and expose our people to risk? Centre has decided to lift the ban and start UK flights. In view of the extremely serious COVID situation in the UK, I would urge the central government to extend the ban till January 31,” he wrote.

The total number of people who tested positive for the new UK strain of the Coronavirus in India reached 82 on Friday, according to the Ministry of Health and Family Welfare.

(With ANI Inputs)

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