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Five flyers from UK test Covid positive at Delhi airport

Five flyers from UK test Covid positive at Delhi airport

Five people arriving in India from Britain have tested positive for Covid-19, but it was not clear at this point whether they are infected with the more virulent strain of the coronavirus.

Five of the 266 passengers and crew who arrived in New Delhi on a flight from Britain late on Monday had tested positive for the coronavirus, said government official Awanish Kumar, who is helping coordinate testing at New Delhi airport.

He said that the National Centre for Disease Control would determine the strain of the virus.

At least two other flights from the UK have arrived in India after the announcement of the flight ban, one in Mumbai and the other in the in Amritsar.

Test results from the 240 people who arrived late on Monday in Amritsar were due on Tuesday afternoon.

India on Monday announced that it will temporarily ban flights from UK to stave off the more virulent coronavirus strain that is spreading rapidly in Britain.

The government has banned all flights originating from the UK to India till 11:59 pm, 31st December. The ban kicked in with effect from 11.59 pm, 22nd December. Britain is one of 23 countries that India shares an “air bubble” with.

The decision was taken after several European countries had already announced travel bans with the UK. France, Germany, Italy, the Netherlands, Austria, Switzerland, Ireland, Belgium, Israel, Canada and Hong Kong were among those that shut off travel ties after Prime Minister Boris Johnson warned that a highly infectious new strain of the virus was a danger to the country.

Australia said on Monday it had detected cases of the new virulent coronavirus strain identified in Britain. Two travellers from the United Kingdom to Australia’s New South Wales state were found carrying the new virus strain. Italy has also reported a patient, who had recently returned from the UK, infected with the mutant virus.

Meanwhile, Union Health Minister Harsh Vardhan on Monday clarified that there is no need to panic over the more virulent variant of coronavirus that is surging in the United Kingdom, as the Indian government is alert on the issue.

“The government is fully alert. There is no need to panic. Do not get yourself tangled in the imaginary situation, talks and panic,” Vardhan said during a press conference on India International Science Festival 2020..