Union minister Hardeep Singh Puri addressing media on Tuesday Credit: Twitter

India is likely to further extend the suspension of passenger flights to and from the United Kingdom after six cases of the UK variant of COVID-19 were detected in the country.

Addressing the media on Tuesday, Union Civil Aviation Minister Hardeep Singh Puri said, “I foresee a slight extension of temporary suspension of India-UK flights.”

The minister added that any additional steps that need to be taken or ease in the suspension will be found out in the next day or two.

The health ministry informed today morning that six cases of the new variant were detected among the passengers who travelled back to India from the UK between November 25 and December 23. Of these, three were tested in NIMHANS, Bengaluru, two in Centre for Cellular & Molecular Biology, Hyderabad and one in National Institute of Virology, Pune.

Last week the Indian government banned flights from the UK till December 31 and made it mandatory to carryout RT-PCR test on all passengers. Also, genomic sequencing of all samples found positive is being carried out by dedicated government labs.

Also Read: 6 UK returnees found positive with new variant of COVID-19

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