New Delhi | Jagran News Desk: Amid the global scare over the new 'out of control' COVID-19 strain, five out of 266 passengers and crew members of a flight which arrived at Delhi Airport from London last night have tested positive for coronavirus.

"Five out of 266 passengers and crew members of a flight which arrived at Delhi airport from London last night have tested positive for COVID-19. Their samples have been sent to NCDC for research and they have been sent to the care centre," said a Nodal officer for COVID-19. 

This comes a day after India announced suspension of all flights from the United Kingdom in wake of the new COVID-19 strain discovered in Britain from December 22 midnight till December 31. 

"We have decided to take all necessary precautions as a result of the situation arising out of the spread of a new strain of coronavirus in some countries. All flights originating from U.K into India will be suspended temporarily from 22 Dec to 31 Dec 2020," Civial Aviation Minister Hardeep Singh Puri tweeted.

He also ordered that in view of taking stringent precautions, the passengers arriving in the country from UK in all transit flights before 22 December, will have to mandatorily undergo RT-PCR test for Covid-19 on arrival.

The Air India flight was one of the two scheduled flights that were to land in Delhi before the new restrictions of not allowing any incoming flights from UK, were put in place from 12am.

Several European countries including France, Germany, Italy, Belgium, Denmark, Bulgaria, the Irish Republic, Turkey and Canada have already closed its borders amid growing concerns of an "out of control" new variant of coronavirus spreading at a much faster pace in parts of England.

Other countries and territories to announce restrictions on UK travel include Hong Kong, Israel, Iran, Croatia, Argentina, Chile, Morocco and Kuwait.

It is thought the variant either emerged in a patient in the UK or has been imported from a country with a lower ability to monitor coronavirus mutations.

The variant can be found across the UK, except Northern Ireland, but it is heavily concentrated in London, the South East and eastern England. Cases elsewhere in the country do not seem to have shot up in a similar way so far.

Posted By: Abhinav Gupta