Delhi Chief Minister Arvind Kejriwal Thursday urged the Centre to keep flight services between India and the United Kingdom suspended till January 31 to prevent the transmission of the new variant of the coronavirus.
The Centre had on January 1 announced a graded resumption of flights on the India-UK route from January 8. There will be 15 flights per week, as against over 60 during usual times, on this route for the first two weeks after resumption, it had said, while also outlining a fresh Standard Operating Procedure (SOP).
While the Delhi Disaster Management Authority (DDMA) has already directed authorities to implement the SOP, Kejriwal took to Twitter to oppose the decision, observing that the situation in the UK is “very serious”.
“With great difficulty, people have brought Covid situation in control. UK’s Covid situation is very serious. Now, why lift ban and expose our people to risk? Centre has decided to lift the ban and start UK flights. In view of extremely serious Covid situation in UK, I would urge central government to extend the ban till January 31,” Kejriwal tweeted.
Flights were initially suspended until December 31, which was then extended until January 7.
According to the SOP, all incoming passengers have to submit self-declaration forms and get tested through the RT-PCR method at least 72 hours before their scheduled travel.
“Passengers testing positive shall be isolated in an institutional facility in a separate (isolation) unit coordinated by the respective state health authorities. They will earmark specific facilities for such isolation and treatment, and take necessary action to send the positive samples to Indian SARS-CoV-2 Genomics Consortium (INSACOG) Labs,” the SOP states.
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