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No decision yet to stop flights to and from China by Centre: Report

Covid in India: India does not have a direct flight with China, but only connecting flights, news agency ANI said (HT_PRINT)

Several opposition leaders and medical experts have demanded the government immediately stop all international flights from China in order to prevent another Covid wave in India.

However, the agency confirmed that so far the government has not taken any such decision yet.

A source told ANI news agency that India does not have a direct flight with China, but only connecting flights.

"We don't have any direct flights from China to India or from India to China but as of now, there is no such order issued to stop connecting flights to India which are arriving via China. The Ministry of Civil Aviation (MoCA) is an executing ministry, the final decision will come from the Ministry of Health and Family Welfare (MoHFW)," government sources told ANI.

Prime Minister Narendra Modi is scheduled to chair this afternoon a high-level meeting to review the Covid-19 situation and its related aspects in the country on Thursday.

China is reeling from the devastating Covid wave due to the new strain of the Omicron variant of the coronavirus.

In the last six months, India has reported four cases of the BF.7 Omicron sub-variant, the same strain that is driving China's current surge of infections.

According to the people aware of the matter, there are currently 10 different variants of Covid-19 in the country, with the latest being BF.7.

Union Health Minister Mansukh Mandaviya on Wednesday chaired a high-level meeting to review the prevailing Covid-19 situation in the country and the preparedness of the public health system for surveillance, containment, and management of the pandemic.

He urged people to follow Covid-appropriate behaviour and get vaccinated against Covid-19.

Also, after the meeting chaired by Mandaviya, Dr VK Paul, Member-Health, NITI Aayog said that "there is no change with regard to aviation as of now."

The health minister will also be making a statement in the parliament today regarding the coronavirus situation in India

Meanwhile, the World Health Organization (WHO) Director-General Tedros Adhanom Ghebreyesus on Wednesday called on China to share the data requested by the world health body to better understand the origin of the COVID-19 pandemic.

"We continue to call on China to share the data and conduct the studies we have requested, and which we continue to request. As I have said many times before, all hypotheses about the origins of this pandemic remain on the table," he added.

Tedros also expressed concern about the over the evolving situation in China, with increasing reports of severe disease.

"In order to make a comprehensive risk assessment of the situation on the ground, WHO needs more detailed information on disease severity, hospital admissions and requirements for intensive care units support," the WHO chief said. 

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