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‘Government is fully alert, there’s no need to panic’: Health Minister on spread of UK virus strain

Air India has maintained that no decision has been made yet regarding the ban of flights from the UK.

SNS | New Delhi |

Assuring the country to not to worry over the new strain of coronavirus reported in the United Kingdom, Union Health Minister Harsh Vardhan said that “there’s no need to panic”.

While addressing the reporters at the India Science Festival, Minister said, “At this time, I would say, don’t get hassled with imaginary situations, imaginary talks and imaginary panic. The government is fully alert. In the last one year, as you all have seen, we took all necessary measures to ensure the safety of people. If you ask me, there’s no reason to panic so much.”

Minister’s remarks came shortly after Delhi Chief Minister Arvind Kejriwal urged the central government in a tweet to ban all flights coming from UK.

“New mutation of corona virus has emerged in UK, which is a super-spreader. I urge central government to ban all flights from UK immediately,” he said.

However, Air India has maintained that no decision has been made yet regarding the ban of flights from the UK.

“As of now, no decision has been made regarding the flights to UK in view of the latest outbreak of COVID-19 cases in UK,” news agency ANI reported quoting Air India official.

The Health Ministry has called a meeting today of its joint monitoring group on COVID-19 to discuss the crisis.

Amid the reports of the spread of the virus, many European countries have banned flights to and from Britain.

Britain has warned this new strain of coronavirus was “out of control”, and imposed a stringent new stay-at-home lockdown from Sunday.

Yesterday, Saudi Arabia halted international flights and suspended entry through its land and sea ports for at least a week, after a new fast-spreading strain of coronavirus appeared in Britain.

The kingdom is “temporarily suspending all international flights — except in exceptional cases — for a period of one week, which can be extended by another week,” the official Saudi Press Agency said.

“Entry to the kingdom through land and sea ports will also be suspended for a week, which can be extended by another week,” SPA added, citing the interior ministry.

As per the official data, India recorded 24,337 new COVID-19 cases with 25,709 recoveries, and 333 deaths in the last 24 hours.

The total cases now stands at 1,00,55,560 with total recoveries at 96,06,111. Out of these, 3,03,639 are active cases of Covid.