A new Covid-19 strain has been doing rounds and health experts all across the globe are expressing caution towards it. The new variant, called Omicron, has been declared a ‘Variant of Concern’ by the World Health Organization, which basically means it is the most red-flagged Covid variant by the WHO.
India was going to resume scheduled international commercial flights after a period of about 20 months, starting December 15, 2021. However, due to the new Covid variant, India could hit pause on the resumption of these flights, without posing any effect on the operation of air bubble arrangements.
Resume Int’l Flights Under Review
The central government held a meeting on Sunday, chaired by Union Home Secretary Ajay Bhalla, where decisions to resume scheduled commercial international flights were reviewed, considering the global scenario of the new variant.
The discussion was detailed and different aspects were talked upon . It was attended by various experts, like V K Paul, Member (Health), NITI Aayog, Vijay Raghavan, Principal Scientific Adviser to Prime Minister, senior officers from Health, Civil Aviation and other Ministries, states a report.
A senior official present in the meeting informed the media that standard operating procedure on testing and surveillance of incoming international passengers, especially for ‘at risk’ identified countries is being adopted.
“Airport Health Officials and Port Health officials have been sensitised for strict supervision of testing protocols at airports and ports,” he added.
“The overall global situation in the wake of Omicron was comprehensively reviewed. Various preventive measures in place and to be further strengthened were discussed in the meeting,” informed the senior official.
The Indian government had allowed scheduled international commercial flights to resume starting December 15, on November 26, after suspending operations of these flights since March 23, 2020, on account of the Covid-19 pandemic.
Moreover, it must be kept in mind that while the resumption of commercial international flights is being reviewed upon, operations of air bubble arrangements will continue to function without any hindrance.