AAP seeks China flight ban to protect India from new Covid strain

AAP MP Raghav Chadha said the government should consider making institutional quarantine mandatory for passengers travelling from countries affected by Omicron’s BF.7 variant.

| Updated: 22 December, 2022 3:52 pm IST
AAP MP Raghav Chadha has demanded a discussion over the emergence of a new Covid variant, in Rajya Sabha.

Aam Aadmi Party (AAP) has urged the Central government to stop flights transiting through China as a measure to prevent the spread of BF.7 variant, which has wreaked havoc in Beijing in recent weeks.

At least four cases of BF.7 have been reported in India. This Covid variant is said to be more transmissible.

In a notice to the chair, AAP lawmaker Raghav Chadha said the government should consider making institutional quarantine mandatory for passengers travelling from the countries affected by the new Covid strain. He also demanded a discussion Covid-19 situation in India and possible threats emanating from neighbouring China.

“China is witnessing an alarming surge in fatal COVID infections from a sub-variant of Omicron. Epidemiologists predict at least three waves of the virus to hit the country during the following months and cause over a million fatalities,” Chaddha said in the notice.

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He further stated, “The virus has already wreaked havoc in China pushing its healthcare system into chaos. Reports suggest that there are no beds in hospitals, medicines are running out of stock and mortuaries have run out of space. Videos of the devastation caused by the pandemic are flooding social media and alarming people.”

Chadha, the youngest MP in Rajya Sabha, charged the Modi government with ignoring and downplaying the early signs of the pandemic in early 2020.

“As a nation, we can neither afford complacency nor manage a lethal pathogen with just reassuring headlines. The need of the hour is to immediately ban any connecting flights from China to India via Asian countries and consider a mandatory institutional quarantine for international passengers from affected countries,” he added.

Meanwhile, Prime Minister Narendra Modi is scheduled to chair a virtual high-level in New Delhi on Thursday to review the health situation in India. Aspects related to Covid infection and protocols will be taken up during the meeting.

Delhi chief minister Arvind Kejriwal will also hold an emergency meeting on Thursday with deputy chief minister Manish Sisodia and other senior officials of the health department. The national capital has reported one death in the last 24 hours.

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