Friday, May 29, 2020

16 passengers on flights of IndiGo, 2 other airlines test positive for COVID-19; Karnataka seeks limited flights from 5 states

New Delhi/Bengaluru: A total of 16 asymptomatic passengers on seven different flights including 13 of them who travelled by IndiGo have tested positive for COVID-19 since the resumption of domestic air services on Monday, according to airlines data.

Two of the three asymptomatic passengers who tested positive for the infection had travelled by Spicejet while one took a flight of Air India subsidiary Alliance Air.

The Karnataka government, meanwhile, said on Thursday it has requested the Civil Aviation ministry to reduce the number of flights originating from five states--Maharashtra, Gujarat, Tamil Nadu, Madhya Pradesh and Rajasthan--in the light of the high number of COVID-19 cases there, hours after a minister said it has "suspended" air travel from these states.

Seeking to clarify his statement, Law and Parliamentary Affairs Minister J C Madhuswamy maintained that Karnataka has not sought imposing a ban on flights from the five states as reported in some sections of the media.

Karnataka has appealed to the Civil Aviation ministry to take steps to lessen the air traffic to the state, with the “sacred intention” that there may not be adequate quarantine facilities, if there is a huge turnout in a short span of time, he said in a press release issued by the state information department.

Earlier, Madhuswamy told reporters in Bengaluru that the decision to stop flights from these states, which have a high number of coronavirus cases, for the time being was taken at a Cabinet meeting.

"People are coming from other states to Karnataka.... we have decided to suspend air traffic from five states, as cases here (Karnataka) may further increase," he said.

As many as 115 new coronavirus cases were reported in Karnataka on Thursday taking the infection count to 2,533, state minister S Suresh said. The minister said among the new cases, 95 are inter-state rail and bus passengers.

West Bengal, which allowed resumption of domestic air services only from Thursday, and Maharashtra are among the states where airlines are having only limited operations following their requests to the Centre in the wake of the COVID-19 pandemic.
28/05/20 PTI/Outlook
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