New Delhi | Jagran News Desk: The West Bengal government on Thursday decided to suspend all flights coming from the United Kingdom to the Kolkata airport starting from January 3. The decision came as the UK has been witnessing a significant surge in new COVID-19 cases.  

Earlier in the day West Bengal Chief Minister Mamata Banerjee had said that her government was reviewing the emerging pandemic situation "seriously" and hinted that a decision will be taken regarding restriction, taking the economy into account. She also requested the Centre to suspend all flights from the UK in wake of the rising Omicron cases. 

"Most omicron cases are being detected among people coming on flights from the UK. It's a fact that the omicron carriers are coming via international flights. The Centre must decide on imposing restrictions on flights from countries where omicron cases are high," Banerjee said.

In the midst of the Omicron scare in West Bengal that recorded 11 cases in five days, the upward graph of Covid-19 infections is keeping the state health department on tenterhooks. In the last 24 hours, the fresh Covid infections in the state have crossed the 1,000 mark - for the first time in the last 177 days.

According to the latest data released by the state health department, the number of fresh Covid cases in the state is 1,089 with four districts including Kolkata, Howrah and North and South 24 Parganas recording more than 80 per cent of the cases.

The state administration is gearing up to meet the third wave of the deadly virus. According to data available, of the total 1,089 cases, 540 were detected in Kolkata, 145 in North 24 Parganas, 79 in South 24 Parganas and 60 in Howrah in the last 24 hours.

The state health department said coronavirus claimed the lives of 12 people in the same time span. In addition to that, the state recorded 11 cases of Omicron so far of which five don't have any travel history.

COVID cases in UK:

The United Kingdom reported 183,037 COVID-19 cases on Wednesday, a new record and over 53,000 more than the previous highest figure registered just a day earlier, government statistics showed. The rise, sparked by the highly transmissible Omicron variant of the virus, also coincides with an increase in the number of patients in hospital who have tested positive for coronavirus.

Posted By: Subhasish Dutta