Passenger rail services in India will make a phased return to operations starting from Tuesday, May 12. All public transport by road, rail, and air has been suspended across the country since lockdown measures were introduced on Wednesday, March 25, to prevent the spread of the coronavirus disease (COVID-19). Initially, only 15 pairs of trains will run between New Delhi and other major cities. Social distancing measures will be observed on the trains and all passengers will be required to wear a face covering. More routes will be added over the coming weeks.
On Saturday, May 2, Indian authorities extended the suspension of international and domestic flights until 23:59 (local time) on Sunday, May 17. During this period, all existing bans on interstate travel will remain in place, with an exception for cargo transport and flights approved by the Directorate General of Civil Aviation (DGCA). Interstate movement for stranded migrants has been permitted, including workers, tourists, and students. All migrants must undergo health screenings at both source and destination and will be subject to a mandatory quarantine upon arrival in their home state.
Government officials announced on Friday, May 1, a 14-day extension of the current lockdown as of Monday, May 4. Authorities stated that there would be certain relaxations of measures to allow for economic activity in districts marked as orange and green zones in the government's plan to contain COVID-19. Some shops in residential areas have been permitted to reopen as long as they only operate at a maximum of 50 percent of the workforce and maintain social distancing measures. Industries such as information technology, agriculture, construction, and other rural sectors have also been allow to resume operations. However, red zones, including Mumbai and New Delhi, will remain subject to strict lockdown restrictions. Under the current lockdown, individuals are banned from leaving their homes and only essential services remain operational; most shops, offices, markets, and places of worship are closed.
As of Monday, May 11, there are 70, 768 confirmed COVID-19 cases and 2294 associated fatalities in the country. Further international spread of the virus is to be expected over 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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