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The cases of a new and fast-spreading coronavirus strain have risen more than doubled in 24 hours on Wednesday as Indian authorities were trying to track down tens of thousands of people who entered the country from Britain in recent weeks.
"Comprehensive contact tracing has been initiated for co-travellers, family contacts and others," the Indian health ministry said on Tuesday, referring to those who flew between November 25 and December 23, when Delhi suspended air links with Britain.
The Indian authorities have launched efforts to locate around 33,000 people who flew to India in the last month from the UK after 20 people tested positive for the new, more virulent strain — up by 14 cases since Tuesday, according to Agence France-Presse.
India also extended on Wednesday the ban on flights to and from Britain by a week to January 7 in a bid to combat the new strain that British authorities say is no more deadly, but which spreads more easily.
Britain is home to a huge Indian community and several flights per day take hundreds of people from London.
It remains unclear how many arrivals from Britain it has traced so far.
Delhi wants to learn about their movements in order to prevent a wider outbreak in a country combating the world's second highest Covid-19 tally.
Britain is home to a huge Indian community and several flights per day take hundreds of people from London to New Delhi and Mumbai.
More than 30 countries have suspended air links with Britain over the new strain, which British medical officials have said is "out of control".
Indian Civil Aviation Minister Hardeep Singh Puri said any resumption of flights to and from Britain would be "strictly regulated".
Of the 33,000 passengers to enter the country in the last month, more than 130 people have tested positive for coronavirus.
The cases have been reported across India, but most are in Delhi and Bangalore.
India has the world's second highest coronavirus caseload behind the United States, with more than 10 million infections and 145,000 deaths.The Indian government has yet to approve any vaccines but hopes to start immunisations early next year.
New cases totalled 6,040, a slight rise on Friday's 5,947, government data showed, while the number of people who had received the first dose of a COVID-19 vaccine rose to 21,796,278.
Johnson had already postponed the trip once from January, when COVID-19 infections were high in Britain. Infections in India are currently surging as the country endures a second wave of the virus.
After the departure of the flight, the official Twitter handle of Goa's Dabolim International Airport said: "Matter of relief that guests shall be safe home amid COVID-19 crisis. AAI (Airport Authority of India) committed for service. Bon voyage".
The Office for National Statistics figures tallied all fatalities in which COVID-19 was suspected or mentioned on death certificates up to May 29. The total of 49,989 is higher than the government's latest daily figure of 40,597, which includes only the deaths of patients who tested positive for coronavirus.
The Ministry of Interior stated through its social platforms that the two people were arrested and the stolen vehicle they used was recovered, noting that they were citizens, and it was found that they had committed similar crimes.
As journalists were leaving the room after the event, a reporter from Fox News, the favorite channel of conservatives, asked whether inflation is a political liability.
Sheikh Sultan Bin Ahmed Al Qasimi, Deputy Ruler of Sharjah and Chairman of the Sharjah Media Council, witnessed the premiere of ‘Narratives of the Place’ (Sard Al Makan) at Al Majaz Amphitheatre, Sharjah, on Tuesday.
The Sharjah Executive Council (SEC) valued the achievements made under the leadership and patronage of His Highness Dr Sheikh Sultan Bin Mohammed Al Qasimi, Supreme Council Member and Ruler of Sharjah, during the last fifty years that contributed to the advancement of the Emirate