Omicron covid variant: India pushes back December 15 start for international flights
India -The government of India cited concerns over the Omicron variant of the COVID-19 virus and postponed full international flights’ reopening, which was scheduled on December 15. India had announced the reopening of international flights last week. The government of India earlier said that international scheduled commercial flights would resume from December 15 after a 21-month ban.
The resumption of flights was to happen in a calibrated manner with a staggered reopening for countries considered “at-risk”. After the announcement, Prime Minister Narendra Modi asked government officials to review the plans for easing international travel restrictions in light of growing concerns regarding the new Omicron variant of COVID-19. However, the decision of reopening the international flights is taken back now. A senior government official confirmed the news and said that a new date would be notified soon.
The Omicron covid variant is much deadlier and is also spreading faster than the other variants. Fully vaccinated people are also getting infected by this new variant. Earlier, WHO (World Health Organisation) also said it will take several weeks to determine the impact of this variant.
India has also imposed new travel restrictions on passengers traveling from Southern Africa countries. Passengers arriving from ‘high-risk’ countries will be required to undergo an RT-PCR test. Depending on the result of the test, the passenger will have to stay in 7-day quarantine or isolation.
The Directorate General of Civil Aviation (DGCA) said that the decision was taken in view of the evolving global scenario with the emergence of new variants of concern. He further said that the situation is being watched closely. According to the Union Health Ministry of India, as many as six COVID-19 positive cases were reported from 11 international flights from “at-risk”