Delhi Chief Minister Arvind Kejriwal on Saturday urged Prime Minister Narendra Modi to stop flights coming to India from those countries which are affected by a new variant of the coronavirus infection. In a tweet, he emphasised that the country had “recovered” from the COVID-19 pandemic with “great difficulty”.
“I urge Hon’ble PM to stop flights from those countries which are affected by new variant. With great difficulty, our country has recovered from Corona. We should do everything possible to prevent this new variant from entering India,” Kejriwal tweeted.
Prime Minister Modi will chair an important meeting on the Covid situation and the vaccination drive in the country with top officials on Saturday, official sources said earlier in the day.
The meeting comes amid rising global concerns over a new strain of the coronavirus which the World Health Organization has named ‘Omicron’ and classified as a highly transmissible virus of concern.
The cumulative number of COVID-19 vaccine doses administered in the country has crossed 120.96 crore, according to the Union health ministry.
The Centre on 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 a new COVID-19 variant of serious public health implications has been reported.
Meanwhile, the Delhi government has called a meeting of the Delhi Disaster Management Authority on Monday to discuss steps that need to be taken in view of threat of a new COVID-19 variant from African countries, Kejriwal had said on Friday.
“In view of the threat from a new COVID-19 variant from African countries, we have requested experts to make a presentation to the DDMA on Monday and suggest what steps we should take. We will take all steps necessary to protect you and your family,” Kejriwal tweeted on Friday. The new variant of COVID-19, feared to have a high amount of spike mutations unseen before, has been detected in South Africa, with authorities there confirming 22 positive cases associated with it on Thursday.