West Bengal suspends UK flights amid Omicron spike
To prevent the spread of the Omicron variant of coronavirus, the West Bengal government announced that it has suspended all the flights coming to Kolkata airport from the United Kingdoms.
This will be effective from January 3 onwards till further notice.
"With effect from January 3, 2022, all passengers coming from other non-at-risk countries by international flights to West Bengal will have to undergo a test on arrival at their cost mandatorily. The airlines will randomly select 10 per cent of the passengers for the RT-PCR test, and the balance 90 per cent shall undergo Rapid Antigen Test (RAT) at the arrival airport. Those found positive in the RAT test will have to undergo RT-PCR tests further as may be required by the health authorities," read the West Bengal government's letter to the Indian Ministry of Civil Aviation.
West Bengal reported five more cases of Omicron variant of coronavirus on December 28, taking the total number of patients infected by the new variant in the state to 11.
The state government's decision to curb flights from the UK came a day after West Bengal Chief Minister Mamata Banerjee held a review meeting on December 29 over the Covid situation in the state.
The Chief Minister said, "Covid cases are rising across the state. There are omicron infections. A review of the situation is required. Passengers coming from foreign countries are spreading Covid. A decision needs to be taken on the international flights coming to Kolkata."