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05 Jul 2020 | 12:12 AM UTC

India: Authorities restrict flights to Kolkata from six major cities July 6-19 /update 46

India News Alert

Passenger flights will be restricted between Kolkata (West Bengal state) and six major cities between July 6-19 to contain the spread of COVID-19; confirm travel itineraries

TIMEFRAME expected from 7/4/2020, 12:00 AM until 8/21/2020, 11:59 PM (Asia/Kolkata). COUNTRY/REGION India, India

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Event

On Saturday, July 4, officials from Kolkata's Netaji Subhash Chandra Bose International Airport (CCU) (West Bengal state) announced that, at the request of the West Bengal government, no flights will operate to the city from six major cities between Monday, July 6, and July 19, or until further orders are given. The cities in question are Delhi, Maharashtra state's Mumbai, Pune, and Nagpur, Chennai (Tamil Nadu state), and Ahmedabad (Gujarat state). The restriction is only in force for arrivals, although departures to these cities are also likely to be heavily affected. The measure has been taken to contain the spread of the coronavirus disease (COVID-19). The state reported its highest number of COVID-19 cases and deaths on Friday, July 3, with 669 cases and 18 deaths. To try and halt the surge in cases, the government has requested aviation authorities halt flights from areas with a high prevalence of COVID-19. Domestic flights in India resumed on May 25 following a two-month hiatus during the nationwide COVID-19 lockdown, and international flights are still suspended.

Authorities introduced a total lockdown in Bengaluru (Karnataka state) due to a rise in COVID-19 cases on Saturday, July 4. The total lockdown commenced on Saturday at 20:00 (local time) and is due to end on July 6, at 05:00. The sale of essential goods will still be permitted throughout this period. The decision comes after the number of cases in the area increased by almost 1000 within 24 hours. Currently, there are 7713 confirmed COVID-19 cases in Bengaluru, of which 6297 are active.

Separately, authorities had already announced that a full lockdown will be enforced every Sunday from Sunday, July 5, in Karnataka state. Authorities will only allow essential services to operate on Sundays. A stricter curfew will also be introduced in the region from July 6, taking effect between 20:00 and 05:00. Authorities are also working to equip the region with medical resources, including ambulances.

As of July 4, there have been 648,315 confirmed cases of COVID-19 in the country, with 18,655 associated fatalities. Further international spread of the virus is expected in the near term.

Context

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.

Advice

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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