Omicron: Omicron Scare: Government to review when regular international flights can safely resume; Reopening may move on 15th December. India News – Times of India

New Delhi: omicron The Covid mutant may delay the resumption of scheduled international flights from December 15 as announced earlier.
“The effective date of resumption of scheduled commercial international passenger service will be reviewed as per the evolving global scenario,” the Home Ministry said in a statement on Sunday. covid Situation with other ministries like health and civil aviation.
This meeting came after new mutants were being discovered in southern Africa and some other countries.
Also, the test protocol can now be changed if necessary due to the new variant characteristics.
“The government will review the standard operating procedure on testing and monitoring of incoming international travelers, especially for countries that have been identified as ‘at risk’. Genomic surveillance for variants will be further strengthened and intensified. Airport Health Officers (APHOs) and Port Health Officers (PHOs) may be sensitized for strict monitoring of testing protocols at airports/ports,” the home ministry statement said.
PM Modi had on Saturday ordered a review of the resumption of scheduled international flights in the wake of the new mutants.
Several countries have temporarily suspended flights to southern African countries.
Israel is closing its borders to all foreign travelers.
The UK has made RT-PCR testing mandatory for all international arrivals starting 30 November.
Several Indian states, including Delhi, have started mandatory testing of arrivals from Omicron hotspots such as South Africa, Zimbabwe and Hong Kong.
“After a high level review by the Prime Minister on the new type of concern ‘Omicron’, an urgent meeting was held under the chairmanship of the Home Secretary on Sunday morning. The meeting was held with various experts, Dr. VK Paul, Member (Health), NITI Aayog, Dr. VK Paul Vijay Raghavan, Principal Scientific Adviser to the Prime Minister, and senior officials from the Ministries of Health, Civil Aviation and other Ministries conducted a comprehensive review of the overall global situation in the wake of the Omicron virus. Discussed various preventive measures to be implemented and further strengthened. The emerging pandemic situation within the country will be maintained,” the home ministry said in a series of tweets.
India had earlier this week announced the resumption of regular international flights from December 15, 2021, nearly 21 months after it was suspended on March 23, 2020. International travel was being facilitated during the pandemic under air bubble arrangements with some countries.
Earlier this week, India directed rigorous screening of all travelers arriving from at-risk countries, including places such as South Africa, Hong Kong and Botswana where omicrons have been detected so far.
Airlines expected a slight change in the reopening date for flights scheduled from December 15.
“Last December when the delta mutant was first detected in the UK, India suspended flights to and from the UK for a few days. Later Delta wreaked havoc on India. People traveling between India and Africa mainly use the larger Gulf carriers. Some precautions need to be taken to ensure that Omicron does not mess with India like Delta did,” airline executives said.
a survey by local circles Two in three citizens want the “government to reconsider its decision” about resuming international flights from December 15, 2021, due to Omicron.
India had earlier this week directed that all international travelers coming and going from at-risk countries be rigorously screened and tested. The contacts of these international travelers are to be closely tracked and tested as per the guidelines.