New strain of Covid-19: Help desks at airports to manage UK passengers upon arrival

Help desks will be set-up at airports to assist passengers arriving from the UK, who will have to undergo real-time reverse transcription-polymerase chain reaction (RT-PCR) tests for Covid-19. India on Monday announced the suspension of all flights to and from the UK between December 23 and December 31 to prevent the arrival of a new Covid-19 strain believed to spread the infection faster.

“The help desks have been asked to be established at various international airports so as to manage the crowd. These people would have queries and since they would need to wait for a few hours till the time test results are declared, arrangements will also be made at the airports for the whole process to go smoothly without any mayhem,” said an official aware of the matter on condition of anonymity.

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Union health ministry’s Joint Monitoring Group, which comprises technical experts, called an urgent meeting to assess the impact in India of the Covid-19 situation arising in the UK, and what measures can be taken. Based on its suggestions, the civil aviation ministry was asked to temporarily suspend flights originating from the UK till December 31.

The new coronavirus variant has prompted the UK government to impose a lockdown across the country and tighten restrictions for all of England, especially during the festive period.

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