Sunday, May 24, 2020

Major Indian states seek delay in restarting flights as coronavirus cases rise

Three large Indian states have sought to delay the planned opening of their airports on Monday as new cases of the novel coronavirus jumped by a record, complicating the federal government’s plan to resume flights after a two-month lockdown.

India registered 6,767 new cases of the novel coronavirus on Sunday, the country’s biggest 24 hour jump yet, taking the total to over 131,000.

Airlines are preparing to resume about a third of their domestic flight operations from Monday, even without clarity over which states will allow flights or what quarantine rules may apply to passengers, reports Reuters.

India’s western state of Maharashtra, Tamil Nadu in the south and West Bengal in the east, major business hubs and home to the country’s busiest airports, have said they are not prepared to open for flights amid rising coronavirus cases, according to state government officials.

Maharashtra is home to India’s financial capital Mumbai, which has reported nearly 29,000 positive infections, almost a fifth of reported cases in the country.

“It’s extremely ill-advised to reopen airports in the red zone,” Maharashtra Home Minister Anil Deshmukh said on Twitter on Sunday.

India’s federal structure gives its 28 states flexibility to set their own rules, complicating efforts by Prime Minister Narendra Modi’s government to kickstart the economy after the lockdown.
24/05/20 Financial Express

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