Delhi Chief Minister Arvind Kejriwal on Tuesday urged Prime Minister Narendra Modi for the second time to stop international flights to Delhi to prevent the spread of the new Covid-19 variant called Omicron. He reminded him of how the country suffered owing to a delay in stopping foreign flights during the first wave of the coronavirus pandemic.
In a tweet in Hindi, the Chief Minister said, “Many countries have stopped incoming flights from Omicron-affected nations. Why are we delaying it? We had delayed stopping foreign flights even during the first wave of the pandemic. Most of the international flights come to Delhi; Delhi gets affected the most. PM sahib, please stop flights immediately.”
Kejriwal’s tweet came amidst a scare over the new variant, considered most infectious, detected in at least 13 countries. On Monday, the World Health Organisation (WHO) said in a warning message that the new variant posed a “very high” global risk and could have “severe consequences”.
Two countries, Israel and Japan, have already announced major travel curbs with a view to preventing the spread of the Omicron.
Kejriwal earlier wrote a letter to the Prime Minister on 28 November, requesting him to immediately stop flights from those countries which are affected by the new variant. “Any delay in this regard may prove harmful …”, the Chief Minister pointed out.
Kejriwal also shared news agency ANI’s tweet in this regard, saying that a 39-year-old Chandigarh resident came back from South Africa and tested Covid-19-positive. Two persons who came into contact with him also tested positive. Samples from these cases have been sent for genome sequencing.
The Chief Minister held a meeting today with the officials concerned to review the preparedness in Delhi to meet the situation in the wake of the threat posed by the emergence of the new Covid-19 variant.