CM urges Centre to extend ban on U.K. flights till Jan 31.

With great difficulty, situation under control in city: Kejriwal

Chief Minister Arvind Kejriwal on Thursday asked the Centre to extend the ban on flights from the United Kingdom till January 31 due to the COVID-19 situation in India.

The Chief Minister said: “The Centre has decided to lift the ban and start U.K. flights. In view of the extremely serious situation in U.K., I would urge the Centre to extend the ban till January 31.”

India had suspended all passenger flights connecting the two countries from December 23 to January 7 due to the new strain of COVID-19 in the U.K. He added: “With great difficulty, people have brought COVID-19 situation under control. Now, why lift ban and expose our people to risk?” Mr. Kejriwal tweeted.

Earlier, the Delhi government had said one of the reasons for the large number of cases here was because of the large number of international passengers arriving in the city. So far, nine residents of Delhi have been found infected with the new Covid-19 variant. According to the standard operating procedures issued by the Health Ministry, all passengers coming from the U.K. between January 8-30 would be subjected to self-paid COVID-19 tests on arrival.

Gauri Agarwal of Genestrings diagnostic, the lab conducting the RT-PCR tests at the Delhi airport, said genestrings diagnostic team is ready to receive the U.K. passengers. “It takes 4-6 hours to get the reports, however, as a mandate, all the passengers in the flight, including crew members, will have to be halted until all results are declared. Arrangements are in place to ensure that the RT-PCR tests for all the passengers arriving from the UK get conducted smoothly,” added Ms. Agarwal.

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