The Indian Directorate General of Civil Aviation (DGCA) has announced the extension of the ban on international flights until July 31, in an effort to curb the spread of the coronavirus disease (COVID-19). Only cargo flights and those approved by the DGCA are permitted to operate in the meantime.
On Sunday, June 28, the government opened one of the world's largest hospitals to help fight COVID-19, after health authorities announced the country's highest one-day increase in the number of new infections. The Sardar Patel COVID Care Centre in New Delhi is the largest facility of its kind in India, with 10,000 beds. Despite the aggressive rise in cases, an easing phase called 'Unlock 2' was announced on Monday, June 29, allowing more economic activities to resume. However, the nightly nationwide curfew will remain in place between 22:00-05:00 (local time).
Maharashtra state authorities announced on June 29 that lockdown restrictions had been extended until July 31, amid the rise of COVID-19 cases in the area. Under the extension, different restrictions may apply to different local areas. Nonessential activities, such as shopping and outdoor exercise, will be restricted to within neighborhood area limits, where mandatory face masks and social distancing measures are required. Authorities also announced that a full lockdown will be enforced every Sunday from July 5 in Karnataka state due to a spike in COVID-19 cases in the region, during which only essential services are able to operate.
As of Friday, July 3, the number of COVID-19 infections in the country has reached 649,889 with 18,669 associated deaths. Further spread of the virus is expected in the near term.
The first case of COVID-19 was reported on December 31 and the source of the outbreak has been linked to a wet market in Wuhan (Hubei province, China). Human-to-human and patient-to-medical staff transmission of the virus have been confirmed. Many of the associated fatalities have been due to pneumonia caused by the virus.
Cases of the virus have been confirmed in numerous countries and territories worldwide. Virus-screening and quarantine measures are being implemented at airports worldwide, as well as extensive travel restrictions. On March 11, the World Health Organization (WHO) declared the global outbreak a pandemic.
Pneumonia symptoms include dry cough, chest pain, fever, and trouble breathing. Pneumonia can be contagious and can be transmitted from human to human. The influenza virus, or the flu, is a common cause of viral pneumonia.
Measures adopted by local authorities evolve quickly and are usually effective immediately. Depending on the evolution of the outbreak in other countries, authorities are likely to modify, at very short notice, the list of countries whose travelers are subject to border control measures or entry restrictions upon their arrival to the territory in question. It is advised to postpone nonessential travel due to the risk that travelers may be refused entry or be subject to quarantine upon their arrival or during their stay.
To reduce the risk of COVID-19 transmission, travelers are advised to abide by the following measures:
- Frequently clean hands by applying an alcohol-based hand rub or washing with soap and water.
- When coughing and sneezing, cover mouth and nose with a flexed elbow or tissue; if used, throw the tissue away immediately and wash hands.
- If experiencing a fever, cough, difficulty breathing, or any other symptoms suggestive of respiratory illness, including pneumonia, call emergency services before going to the doctor or hospital to prevent the potential spread of the disease.
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