Kejriwal to Modi: Ban flights from Omicron-hit nations

Kejriwal urges Modi to ban flights from countries hit by Covid-19 Omicron variant

In a letter, the Delhi CM recapped India's battle against Covid-19 over the past year and urged the PM to take immediate action

Delhi CM Arvind Kejriwal. Credit: PTI Photo

Delhi Chief Minister Arvind Kejriwal on Sunday urged Prime Minister Narendra Modi to immediately stop flights coming to India from countries affected by the Omicron variant of coronavirus.

"Our country has fought a tough fight against coronavirus for the last one and half years. With great difficulty and due to the selfless service of millions of our Covid warriors, our country has recovered from coronavirus," he wrote in a letter.

In view of the new Covid-19 variant, a number of countries, including the European Union, have suspended travel to the affected regions, he said. "We should do everything possible to prevent the new variant of concern, recently recognised by the WHO, from entering India... I urge you to stop flights from these regions with immediate effect. Any delay in this regard may prove harmful, if any affected person enters India," the letter stated.

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As concerns grow over the new Covid-19 variant, Prime Minister Narendra Modi on Saturday called for a proactive approach and review of plans to ease international travel curbs, and urged people to be more cautious. Several states moved quickly to take precautionary and vigilance measures.

Modi, who was briefed by officials about the recently discovered variant Omicron during a comprehensive meeting to review the public health preparedness and Covid-19 vaccinations, also highlighted the need for monitoring all international arrivals and their testing as per guidelines, with a specific focus on at-risk countries.

The Centre on Thursday had asked all states and Union Territories to conduct rigorous screening and testing of all international travellers coming from or transiting through South Africa, Hong Kong and Botswana, where the Omicron variant has been reported.

Meanwhile, the Delhi government has called a meeting of the Delhi Disaster Management Authority on Monday to discuss measures in view of the threat of the Omicron Covid-19 variant, Kejriwal had said on Friday.

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