New Delhi: At least five people returning on a flight from the United Kingdom, where a new strain of coronavirus has been found, on Tuesday tested positive for the viral infection in Delhi. Samples of the infected passengers have been sent for research to the National Centre of Disease Control (NCDC) to find out if they have any traits of the mutant strain. Also Read - Day 1 of Largest Vaccination Drive Ends as Over 1.9 Frontline Workers Get First Jabs | 10 Points

According to reports. the flight with 266 passengers on board arrived at the Delhi airport from London on Monday night. One of the passengers further travelled to Chennai where he was tested positive for the novel disease. Also Read - 52 Healthcare Workers Show Adverse Reactions COVID-19 Vaccine Shot in Delhi, 1 Hospitalised

A total of 14 passengers are being closely monitored for symptoms. Meanwhile, all other international flyers travelling from the UK till Tuesday midnight are being tested for COVID-19 on arrival at airports as a measure of abundant precaution. Also Read - 1,91,181 Inoculated: India Completes Day 1 of COVID-19 Vaccination Drive, Health Minister Calls it 'Sanjeevani'

All those who are found COVID-19-positive would be sent for institutional quarantine set up by states or union territories (UTs), Union Civil Aviation Minister Hardeep Singh Puri said.

India Bans All Flights From UK

The development comes a day after the government decided to suspend all flights from the UK till December 31 as the British government warned that the potent new strain of the virus was “out of control” and imposed a stringent new stay-at-home lockdown.

Aviation regulator DGCA on Monday said all airlines must ensure that passengers travelling from the UK do not board their flights from anywhere outside the UK to come to India during the suspension period.

Prior to India, a number of countries such as Canada, Turkey, Germany, Belgium, Italy and Israel banned flights from the UK.

However, WHO’s Chief Scientist Dr Soumya Swaminathan claimed that the new strain may already be present in many countries.