Coronavirus crisis | Tamil Nadu govt urges Centre not to resume flights till May 31
Tamil Nadu government has requested the Centre to not resume airline services in the state until May 31 due to the continuing rise in the number of coronavirus cases. The Ministry of Civil Aviation had earlier this week announced that domestic flight services will resume across the country with necessary restrictions and precautions in place after the nation went into lockdown on March 25 due to the coronavirus pandemic. Centre had issued a statement saying flights will operate from all metropolitan cities including Chennai, and will eventually see a gradual increase in its services.
Apart from the COVID-19 virus, Tamil Nadu government has said that Chennai at present doesn't have a public transport in place due to the lockdown. It is also being said that other airports functioning with the exception of Chennai will not be of any use considering a majority of the passengers are Chennai-bound and transport arrangements need to be made to bring them to the city. Despite this, all necessary steps are already being taken by authorities at the Chennai airport with anti-virus measures among which include touch-free and contact-less security and boarding and multiple thermal screenings, as informed by the Ministry of Civil Aviation.
Although Civil Aviation Minister Hardeep Singh Puri yesterday had understated the necessity for quarantining passengers after short flights, Tamil Nadu at present needs to quarantine those arriving in the state from other cities, based on the spurt in the number of coronavirus cases. It is to be noted that Chennai had earlier this month received special flights - two Air India Express flights bound from Dubai - carrying 356 stranded passengers among whom a few had tested positive for COVID-19.
Tamil Nadu currently has the second highest number of coronavirus cases in the country with nearly 14,000 people reported to have tested positive and the death toll standing at 94. Among the 14,000 cases, Chennai city alone has recorded over 8,000 cases to date after a sharp rise in the numbers over the past few weeks.
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