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India to resume regular international flights from December 15 amid growing concerns over Covid-19 variant B.1.1.529

Before the holiday season, the Ministry of Civil Aviation has decided to allow the resumption of scheduled international flights from December 15. Regular international flights were suspended in India on March 23, 2020 due to the COVID-19 pandemic.

However, special international passenger flights have been operating since July last year under air bubble deals with around 28 countries.

The Ministry of Civil Aviation said: “The issue of resuming scheduled international commercial passenger services to and from India has been discussed in consultation with the Ministry of Interior, Ministry of External Affairs and the Ministry of Health and Family Welfare and it was decided that scheduled international commercial passenger services to and from India could resume from December 15, 2021.

The decision to resume international flights was taken in consultation with the Ministry of Health.

However, growing concerns are expressed about a new variant of the coronavirus strain B.1.1.529, which was first detected in Africa – South Africa and Botswana – and has now spread to Israel. and Hong Kong.

The heavily mutated COVID-19 variant that is causing concern around the world. Called B.1.1.529, the variant of the coronavirus appears to be spreading rapidly. So far, 77 fully confirmed cases have been detected in Gauteng Province in South Africa, four in Botswana and one in Hong Kong. All cases have been directly linked to travel from South Africa.

The COVID B.1.1.529 variant was first spotted in genome sequencing data from Botswana. It caught the attention of scientists because the variant has more than 30 mutations on the spike protein, which allows the virus to open the door to cells in our body.

(Edited by : Jerome Antoine)

First publication: STI


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