No decision to stop flights from India, Singapore: Sri Lanka

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Colombo, Dec 29 (PTI) Sri Lanka has not yet decided to stop flights from India and Singapore where the new strain of COVID-19 has reached from the UK, a top official said on Tuesday.

The country is currently receiving less flights from India and Singapore as compared to those from the Middle East where Sri Lankan expats are employed in a large number.

The Sri Lankan government has stopped all flights from the UK in view of the new coronavirus strain spreading in that country.

No decision has been taken yet to stop flights from India and Singapore where the new strain of COVID-19 is found, the head of COVID-19 preventive operations, Army Commander General Shavendra Silva said.

Sri Lanka’s decision to open its airports for commercial flights on December 26 is currently being held back due to the new strain in Europe, the official said.

However, a tourist promotion pilot project was launched on Monday by welcoming a group of Ukrainian tourists.

Sri Lanka shut its borders in March after the coronavirus outbreak and the country was into a total lockdown until mid-May.

Sri Lanka has seen a surge in the pandemic cases since October.

The number of deaths which was just 13 by early October is now nearing the 200 mark with nearly 42,000 infections being recorded, according to health officials.

India has put in place a pro-active and preventive strategy to detect and contain the mutant variant of the virus. It includes temporary suspension of all flights coming from the UK with effect from the midnight of December 23 till December 31 and mandatory testing of all UK returnee air passengers. PTI CORR CPS