Indian state of West Bengal temporarily suspends flights from UK amid rise in Omicron cases

WION Web Team
New Delhi Published: Dec 30, 2021, 05:49 PM(IST)

British Airways Photograph:( Reuters )

Story highlights

The West Bengal government said the flights emanating from "at-risk" countries as notified by the central government will not be allowed into the state.

Amid rise in Omicron cases in the country, India's eastern state of West Bengal on Thursday announced that it is temporarily suspending all direct flights from the UK to Kolkata from January 3, 2022.

The state government said the flights emanating from "at-risk" countries as notified by the central government will not be allowed into the state.

The West Bengal government further stated that passengers arriving from "non at-risk" countries would have to undergo coronavirus test on arrival at the airport. 

Also Read: COVID-19 cases have risen since December 26, says India's health ministry

The airlines will randomly select ten per cent passengers in the flight for RT-PCR test and the rest of the 90 per cent passengers will have to undergo the Rapid Antigen Test(RAT) on arrival, the state government declared. The state authorities have asked airport personnel to reduce waiting time for passengers by ramping up testing sites.

Watch: India logs 13,154 new COVID-19 cases within 24 hours amid Omicron spread

The Indian government had said today that the Omicron variant has a doubling time of 2-3 days compared to Delta with eight districts reporting over 10 per cent COVID-19 positivity weekly.

Also Read: Cambridge experts warn of an 'explosive' growth of Omicron cases in India

The government has identified Maharashtra, West Bengal, Tamil Nadu, Delhi, Karnataka, Gujarat as regions of "concern" due to rising COVID-19 cases.

India's health ministry reported the country had recorded over 10,000 daily coronavirus cases after 33 days.

"India's R naught value which indicates spread of coronavirus is 1.22, so cases are increasing, not shrinking," the health ministry said.

(With inputs from Agencies)

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