Majority would like the government to suspend flights from the UK and South Africa: poll

According to a survey, up to two-thirds of the population would like the government to suspend flights from the UK and South Africa as the number of COVID-19 cases in the country has risen almost sharply in recent weeks.

At the same time, another 43 percent of the survey carried out by the online platform LocalCircles supported the suspension of all international flight services in order to contain the “second wave” of the pandemic.

The survey results are based on responses from over 8,800 citizens from 244 districts across the country.

Planned international operations have been suspended since the end of March last year. For this reason, special international flights have been permitted since May of last year as part of the Vande Bharat Mission and since July as part of bilateral “bubble” agreements with selected countries.

The direct ancestry of SARS-COV2 variants, particularly the British and South African variants, has been identified in different parts of the country in an upward trend in the number of active COVID-19 cases in the country. There are currently over 60,000 cases reported daily, LocalCircles said.

That’s a five-fold increase in the daily case load in 45 days, which was around 12,000 on February 12 of this year.

The British variant is estimated to have expanded to over 70 countries, while the South African variant is represented in more than 30 countries, the statement said. As a result, LocalCircles asked citizens whether restrictions on international flights should now be implemented through a survey, he added.

“65 percent of citizens are still in favor of suspending the arrival of passengers from the UK and South Africa to limit the coronavirus variants, while 43 percent are in favor of suspending all international arrivals for a month,” LocalCircles said in the statement with survey results .

There were also 32 percent of citizens who said “suspending flights is not the solution,” while 3 percent had no answer, it said.

According to many citizens, the damage has already been done and the variants are at different stages in India, mainly due to all international arrivals in the past three months. However, at least closing flights will not bring new infections and stresses, LocalCircles said.

In fact, based on public feedback, the platform had expanded the risk of a mutated coronavirus to the government in late December, urging it to suspend all flights from the UK and other high-risk countries by the end of January. In the survey at this point, 64 percent of citizens wanted international bubble flights with countries, particularly the UK, that have cases of the new strain.

The same was done. However, flight shutdown in the UK resumed from Jan. 8 after being on hold for about two weeks, LocalCircles said.

With limited capacity to carry out genome tests, around 10,787 samples from 18 Indian states have so far shown 771 cases (736 of the British variant, 34 of the South African variant and 1 of the Brazilian variant).

Punjab Chief Minister Amrinder Singh was said to have announced that 81 percent of the cases found in his state based on genome testing are of the British variant type. Punjab has direct flights between the UK and Amritsar operated under the Vande Bharat program. it added.

“It is not just Punjab that has established the existence of B.1.1.7 in 18 states. Maharashtra is aiming for the highest increase ever with 35,000 cases per day. In Delhi the daily number of cases has increased from 500 to 1,500 in one state tripled matter by five days, “said LocalCircles.

According to the platform, in a corresponding survey, up to 60 percent of citizens were of the opinion that this new increase was due to variants. “Although the government has not yet accepted this, it is known that B.1.1.7 is 50-60 percent more transmissible than the original COVID-19 strain. The strain has also affected the young a lot more than the previous COVID strain. 19 load, “it said.

Although there won’t be a vaccine for young people at least until the end of this year, India has exceeded six crore vaccinations for adults and is vaccinating between 20 and 30 lakh citizens daily, according to the publication.

However, it will be late 2022 before all of the country’s citizens can be vaccinated and “therefore this second wave of COVID-19 is extremely worrying for many,” it said.

(Only the headline and image of this report may have been updated by Business Standard staff. The rest of the content is automatically generated from a syndicated feed.)

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