Review easing international flight curbs: PM Modi amid new strain reports
New Delhi : Prime Minister Narendra Modi on Saturday asked officials to reconsider the plans on easing restrictions on international flights as a new variant of coronavirus – Omicron has been reported. The variant was detected in South Africa last week.
PM Modi also spoke about the urgent attention that needs to be given to all international arrivals and conduct Covid tests as per existing guidelines, with a specific focus on 'at risk' countries.
He also highlighted the need to be proactive in efforts to stop the virus from reaching India. He said that this is the time to remain cautious and follow all Covid safety protocols, including wearing face masks in public, washing hands regularly, and maintaining social distance.
The Prime Minister on Saturday chaired a meeting with senior officials, including the Cabinet Secretary, the Health Secretary, and the chief of India's Covid task force, to review the situation in the country.
The meeting was called amid global worry on the new coronavirus strain - B.1.1.529, also known as Omicron.
The new variant cases have also been reported in Botswana, Hong Kong, Israel, and Belgium.
The call to review easing of international travel restrictions comes less than a day after the government said scheduled international passenger flights could resume from December 15.
Earlier today, Delhi Chief Minister Arvind Kejriwal urged Prime Minister Narendra Modi to keep the ban on all flights coming from countries reporting Omicron Covid cases.