India to lift ban of flights from uk from January 8
Hardeep Singh Puri, Union Minister of Civil Aviation, said, ‘Operations until 23 January will be limited to 15 weekly flights each for carriers from two countries to and from Delhi, Mumbai, Bengaluru and Hyderabad only.’
India said on Friday that it has agreed to lift the temporary ban on flights from the United Kingdom and will resume operations in a restricted manner from 8 January in the face of concerns about the latest and highly contagious spread of covid-19 strains, which was first detected in Britain.
Today, Union Civil Aviation Minister Hardeep Singh Puri said, “Operations till 23 January will be restricted to 15 flights per week each for carriers of two countries to and from Delhi, Mumbai, Bengaluru and Hyderabad only.”
On 21 December, India ordered that a temporary suspension be enforced on flights from the UK following the discovery of a new and highly infectious coronavirus strain in the UK. The suspension of flights took effect at midnight on 22 December and will continue until 31 December, the government added.
The Ministry also added that, as a precautionary measure, passengers arriving from the United Kingdom on all transit flights (flights leaving or arriving in India prior to 22 December) should be subject to the mandatory RT-PCR test upon arrival at the airports concerned.
The government, however, later extended the temporary suspension of flights to the United Kingdom until 7 January.
“Decision has been taken to extend the temporary suspension of flights to & from the UK till 7 January 2021,” Puri said on Twitter’s social media website.
Meanwhile, India registered four more Covid-19 strain cases today, bringing the total count to 29.
“All the 29 persons are in physical isolation in health facilities,” an official said.
Of the 29 mutated UK strains, eight were found in samples at the National Center for Disease Control (NCDC) in New Delhi, two at the Institute of Genomics and Integrative Biology (IGIB) in Delhi, one at the National Institute of Biomedical Genomics (NIBMG) in Kalyani (near Kolkata), five at the National Institute of Virology in Pune, three at the Center for Cellular and Molecular Biology (CCMB) in Kalyani (near Kolkata), and five at the National Institute of Virology in Pune.
For their co-travellers, friends, and others, the government is doing a detailed touch tracing exercise.
UK chief medical officers justify the postponement of the second doses of the Pfizer Covid-19 vaccine
In order to prioritise first doses, the UK’s chief medical officers have justified a decision to postpone second doses of the Pfizer/BioNTech vaccine, claiming it would protect as many susceptible people as possible when the coronavirus is running rampant.
The new policy, revealed on Wednesday by the Head of Medicines Regulator MHRA of the United Kingdom, means that the time between doses will be increased to 12 weeks instead of the previously defined three weeks.
The British Medical Association (BMA), a body representing UK physicians, has sparked a debate among experts, questioning the decision to delay appointments for the most vulnerable patients currently awaiting their second shots.
Since early December, when the nation became the first in the world to authorise it, the Pfizer/BioNTech vaccine has been in use in the UK, but supplies are limited.
Thanks in part to a new, more infectious strain of the virus, the debate over the vaccination policy comes as infection rates increase in much of the UK. To try to limit the spread of the virus, much of England is now under the toughest degree of restrictions.
The Doctors’ Association UK has raised “real and grave concerns” about the current vaccine policy, warning on Friday that it may weaken the patient consent process of the National Health Service.
In the meantime, Pfizer said it did not have evidence to prove that after more than 21 days, only a single dose of its vaccine would provide safety against the disease.
“Pfizer and BioNTech’s Phase 3 study for the Covid-19 vaccine was designed to evaluate the vaccine’s safety and efficacy following a 2-dose schedule, separated by 21 days,” Pfizer said in a statement on Thursday. “There are no data to demonstrate that protection after the first dose is sustained after 21 days.”