With several countries in the world either suspending or temporarily halting flights to and fro from Britain after the discovery of a new mutant Covid-19 strain, reports of detection of the new strain in patients in Australia and Italy have also emerged.
Australia’s federal health minister Greg Hunt said on Monday that the new strain has been detected in a small number of cases, The Guardian reported.
The health ministry in Italy on Sunday said that it detected a patient with the new Covid-19 strain found in Britain. The patient, who is now in isolation, returned from the UK in the past few days.
The fear over the fast spread of the new strain has led many countries to put new restrictions on international travel.
India on Monday announced a temporary ban on flights coming from the UK till 11.59 p.m. on December 31. The suspension commences from 11.59 p.m. on December 22.
Several other countries, including France, Bulgaria, Germany, Italy, Belgium, the Irish Republic, Saudi Arabia, Turkey, Switzerland and Canada, had earlier announced the suspension of UK flights, the BBC reported.
The new variant has spread quickly in London and south-east England, but health officials in the UK said that there is no evidence that it is more deadly or would react differently to vaccines.
British health secretary Matt Hancock warned that the new variant, which may be up to 70 per cent more transmissible, is “getting out of control”.