Indian PM asks officials to review int’l travel easing plans amid new strain concern

Amid growing concerns over the spread of the new COVID-19 variant, the B.1.1.529, named Omicron, Indian Prime Minister Narendra Modi on Saturday asked officials to review plans to ease restrictions on international travel to and from India.

The orders came during a review meeting chaired by Modi.

“PM spoke about the need to be proactive in light of the new variant. He said that in light of the new threat, people need to be more cautious and the need to take proper precautions like masking and social distancing,” a statement issued by Prime Minister’s Office (PMO) said.

“PM highlighted the need for monitoring all international arrivals, their testing as per guidelines, with a specific focus on countries identified ‘at risk’. PM also asked officials to review plans for easing of international travel restrictions in light of the emerging new evidence.”

During the review meeting, Modi was briefed on the developments concerning the new variant.

Omicron is the new and potentially most infectious COVID-19 variant discovered so far, officials said.

On Friday, the Indian government said scheduled international passenger flights to and from India would be allowed to return to pre-COVID-19 frequencies from Dec. 15. However, flight services to certain “at-risk” countries shall remain restricted.

During the review meeting, Modi was briefed on the developments concerning the new variant.

Omicron is the new and potentially most infectious COVID-19 variant discovered so far, officials said.

On Friday, the Indian government said scheduled international passenger flights to and from India would be allowed to return to pre-COVID-19 frequencies from Dec. 15. However, flight services to certain “at-risk” countries shall remain restricted.