News18» News»India»News18 Evening Digest: India Blocks UK Flights Till Dec 31 Amid Concern Over New Coronavirus Strain & Other Top Stories
4-MIN READ

News18 Evening Digest: India Blocks UK Flights Till Dec 31 Amid Concern Over New Coronavirus Strain & Other Top Stories

Pedestrians walk past a Covid-19 information display board warning people that 'Coronavirus cases are very high in London', in Piccadilly Circus, London on December 19, 2020. (Photo by Tolga Akmen / AFP)

Pedestrians walk past a Covid-19 information display board warning people that 'Coronavirus cases are very high in London', in Piccadilly Circus, London on December 19, 2020. (Photo by Tolga Akmen / AFP)

Here are the top stories we are covering this evening: India blocks UK flights till December 31; CEC says EC is ready for 'one nation, one poll'; Prashant Kishor says will leave Twitter if BJP crosses double-digits in Bengal elections; Sensex, Nifty hammered as new Covid-19 strain in UK triggers global selloff; US surgeon says new coronavirus strain in UK does not appear to be deadlier; Sara Ali Khan, Varun Dhawan recreate '90s nostalgia; and Kalam fan who went viral for decorating his statue gets killed.

India Blocks UK Flights From Dec 22-31 Amid Concern Over New Virus Strain, RT-PCR Test Mandatory on Arrival

India will ban all flights to and fro the United Kingdom from 23:59 hours on December 22. This comes hours after Hong Kong made a similar announcement, becoming the first city in Asia to announce such a halt after a new super-virulent strain of the novel coronavirus was identified in Britain. "Considering the prevailing situation in UK, Govt. of India has decided that all flights originating from UK to India to be suspended till 31st December 2020 (23.59 hours). This suspension to start w.e.f. 23.59 hours, 22nd December 2020. Consequently flights from India to UK shall stand temporarily suspended during above said period," the ministry of civil aviation tweeted. READ MORE

EC Ready for 'One Nation, One Poll' if Legislature Carries Out All Amendments, Says CEC Sunil Arora

While 2020 is about to come to a close, the Covid-19 crisis is still swirling. In an exclusive conversation with News18, chief election commissioner Sunil Arora recalls the challenges the poll body faced while conducting elections this year, even as he sheds light on what lies ahead in the electoral arena next year as well as crucial developments like the possibility of simultaneous elections and digital voter cards. READ MORE

'Will Leave Twitter if BJP Crosses Double-digits': Prashant Kishor's Dare Ahead of Bengal Elections

Election strategist Prashant Kishor, who has been drafted by West Bengal Chief Minister Mamata Banerjee for her poll campaign, on Monday said he would 'leave Twitter' if the Bharatiya Janata Party did better than he predicted in the upcoming state assembly elections. Kishor said the BJP would fail to cross double digits in the polls, and if it did, he would leave the social networking site. "For all the hype AMPLIFIED by a section of supportive media, in reality BJP will struggle to CROSS DOUBLE DIGITS in #WestBengal PS: Please save this tweet and if BJP does any better I must quit this space!" he said in a tweet. READ MORE

Sensex, Nifty Hammered as New Covid Strain in UK Triggers Global Selloff

Indian shares suffered their worst day in seven months on Monday in a broad sell-off after fresh lockdowns in the United Kingdom to curb the spread of a new strain of coronavirus hit investor sentiment. The NSE Nifty 50 index ended 3.14% lower at 13,328.40, wiping out six straight sessions of gains up to Friday. The benchmark S&P BSE Sensex fell 3% to 45,553.96. European shares opened lower at 0800 GMT as investors worried about the economic impact of a new coronavirus strain which has seen several European countries shut their borders to the UK. READ MORE

New Covid Strain in UK Does Not Appear to Be Deadlier, Says US Surgeon

Indian-American physician Vivek Murthy, US President-elect Joe Biden's pick for Surgeon General, has said there is no evidence to suggest that a new and more contagious coronavirus variant reported in the UK is any deadlier. Murthy, 43, said that there was no reason to believe that the coronavirus vaccines that have already been developed would not be effective against the new strain as well. "This news from the UK appears to be about a new strain of the virus that's more transmissible, more contagious than the virus we've seen prior to this," he said. "While it seems to be more transmissible, we do not have evidence yet that this is a more deadly virus to an individual who acquires it," Murthy told NBC News on Sunday. READ MORE

Sara Ali Khan, Varun Dhawan Recreate '90s Nostalgia in Coolie No1 New Song Mirchi Lagi Toh

One of the most iconic chartbusters from the '90s is back in a spicier version. The remade version of the iconic dance number 'Tujhko Mirchi Lagi' from the upcoming film Coolie No. 1 has dropped, with Varun Dhawan and Sara Ali Khan stepping into the dancing shoes of Govinda and Karisma Kapoor. Taking everyone down memory lane, the song features the original singers Kumar Sanu and Alka Yagnik. Reimagined by Lilo George - DJ Chetas, the original song was composed by Anand-Milind and lyrics were penned by Sameer. READ MORE

Kalam Fan Who Went Viral for Decorating His Statue Killed by Jealous Acquaintance

Social media fame can be a fleeting thing but in a shocking instance, a homeless man from Kochi who recently went viral on social media for regularly cleaning and decorating a statue of late President APJ Abdul Kalam was murdered by another pavement dweller over the former's new found popularity on social media platforms. Police said the man, identified as Shivadasan, was found dead in Marine Drive in Kochi around which he used to live on the streets. He used to regularly clean and decorate with flowers a bust of the former President on a daily basis, a report said. READ MORE