Maharashtra wants to stop flights from South Africa

The Maharashtra government has contacted the Centre to see whether flights from South Africa could be stopped from landing in the state following detection of a new Covid-19 ‘variant of concern’ in the African country.

Maharashtra health minister Rajesh Tope on Saturday said the state has sent a letter to the Centre on the issue after Mumbai municipal commissioner Iqbal Singh Chahal spoke to him about the potential impact of the new variant on the city and highlighted the “need to stop these flights from South Africa”.

“However, since the state does not have powers to stop the flights, we have communicated with the Centre on the issue. We are awaiting their instructions on the issue,” Tope said.

The state government has also decided to ask domestic travellers to the state to get both doses of their vaccination or carry a negative RT-PCR test report that should be done 72 hours prior. The World Health Organisation had on Friday named the new variant Omicron and said it is of concern.


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