New Covid variant: Kejriwal questions delay in banning international flights

Kejriwal had on Sunday urged Prime Minister Narendra Modi to stop flights coming to India from countries affected by the new variant with immediate effect.

In view of the new Covid variant, a number of countries, including the European Union, have suspended travel to the affected regions, he had said in his letter. (File image)

Delhi Chief Minister Arvind Kejriwal on Tuesday questioned the delay in stopping flights from countries affected by Omicron variant of coronavirus.

The B.1.1.529 Covid variant or Omicron, first detected in South Africa last week, was designated by the World Health Organisation as a ‘variant of concern’, the health body’s top category for worrying coronavirus variants.

Kejriwal had on Sunday urged Prime Minister Narendra Modi to stop flights coming to India from countries affected by the new variant with immediate effect.

“Several countries have stopped flights from Omicron affected countries. Why are we delaying it? We had delayed stopping international flights in the first wave also. Majority of flights land in Delhi. Delhi is most affected. Kindly stop the flights immediately,” Kejriwal said in a tweet.

In view of the new Covid variant, a number of countries, including the European Union, have suspended travel to the affected regions, he had said in his letter.

“We should do everything possible to prevent the new variant of concern, recently recognised by the WHO, from entering India… I urge you to stop flights from these regions with immediate effect. Any delay in this regard may prove harmful, if any affected person enters India,” he had written.

The Centre on last Thursday had asked all states and Union Territories to conduct rigorous screening and testing of all international travellers coming from or transiting through South Africa, Hong Kong and Botswana, where the variant of serious public health implications has been reported.

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