Delhi CM urges PM Modi to stop flights from countries affected by new Covid variant

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The B.1.1.529 variant of the novel coronavirus was labelled as a Variant of Concern by the World Health Organisation on Saturday.

“I urge Hon’ble PM to stop flights from those countries which are affected by the 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.

The variant was identified by scientists in South Africa on Thursday, and was detected in two more countries — Israel and Belgium. Botswana and Hong Kong are the other countries where the variant has been found.

“We know very little about this variant but I can say that this has been declared as a VOC. Our vigilance must be genuine, and especially with regard to travellers from countries which are exposed. As a policy, there should at least be quarantine and isolation for them upon arrival. And we should implement our own self lockdown — meaning keep our masks on and be extremely cautious — for at least the next six months,” ILBS’s director Dr S K Sarin, who is also the chairman of the Delhi government’s panel on Covid-19, said.

India, which on Friday announced resumption of routine international air services from December 1, has said it would step up screening of flyers, especially from the affected countries.

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