New Delhi: Four more residents of Delhi have tested positive for the new coronavirus strain, sources said on Thursday, even as Health Minister Satyendar Jain appealed to the Centre to extend the ban on flights between India and the UK till the end of January.Also Read - Delhi Pollution Update: Govt Bans Construction Work, Entry of Trucks till This Date

The total number of people found infected with the mutant variant of COVID-19 that was first detected in the UK now stands at 13 in the national capital. Also Read - Tamil Nadu Govt Issues Advisory to Districts Over Omicron Variant Threats

Four more samples sent for genome sequencing have been found positive, as part of the door-to-door medical checkup of people who had recently arrived from the UK and persons who came in their contact in the city, sources said. Also Read - Karnataka Seeks Travel Ban on Passengers Coming From Nations Hit By Omicron Covid Variant

“So, the total number of people found positive with the new strain, now stands at 13 in Delhi,” a source said.

Meanwhile, Union Health Minister Harsh Vardhan chaired a meeting with health ministers of all states and union territories, regarding COVID-19 vaccination dry run to be conducted on January 8 in all districts of the country.

“In today’s vc (video conference) with @drharshvardhan I requested him that the ban on UK flights should be extended to 31st January, 2021 as UK is bearing an all-time high surge in cases and deaths,” Jain tweeted.

At least 66 people, including those who recently returned from the UK and their contacts, have tested positive for the coronavirus. Most been kept in separate isolation facility at LNJP Hospital.

Thirteen of those have been discharged since December 29, a source said.

Till Wednesday, the count of Delhi residents found infected with the new strain had stood at nine.

Delhi Chief Minister Arvind Kejriwal on Thursday, in a tweet, also urged the Centre to extend the ban on flights between India and the UK till January 31 in view of the extremely serious COVID situation in that country.

“With great difficulty, people have brought COVID situation in control. UK’s COVID situation is very serious. Now, why lift ban and expose our people to risk?,” the chief minister tweeted.

Aviation Minister Hardeep Singh Puri had said on Saturday that flights from India to the UK will resume from January 6, while services from UK to here would resume January 8 onwards.

Puri had tweeted, “30 flights will operate every week, 15 each by Indian & UK carriers. This schedule is valid till 23 Jan, 2021. Further frequency will be determined after review”.

According to an SOP issued by the health ministry earlier this month, all passengers coming from the UK between January 8 and January 30 would be subjected to self-paid COVID-19 tests on arrival.

Delhi recorded 486 fresh COVID-19 cases, and 19 new fatalities on Thursday, even as the positivity rate dipped to 0.63 per cent, authorities said.

The infection tally in the city stands at 6.28 lakh and the death toll mounted to 10,644, they said.

(With inputs from PTI)