The West Bengal government on Saturday banned incoming flights to Kolkata from six coronavirus hotspots, including Delhi and Mumbai, from July 6 to 19. The decision came less than a week after West Bengal Chief Secretary Rajiva Sinha asked the Ministry of Civil Aviation to not allow flights into the state from high-prevalance areas.
“No flights shall operate to Kolkata from Delhi, Mumbai, Pune, Nagpur,Chennai and Ahmedabad from 6th to 19th July 2020 or till further order whichever is earlier,” Kolkata Airport said in a tweet. “The temporary restriction on arriving flights to Kolkata Airport is on the request of State Govt [government] to restrict movement from high prevalence cities of coronavirus cases.”
In his letter to the civil aviation ministry of June 30, Sinha had said that Bengal was witnessing a sharp increase in coronavirus numbers and a large number of cases were among people coming from other states. He had also asked the Centre to reduce the frequency of flights to Kolkata.
West Bengal has reported over 20,000 coronavirus cases and 717 deaths so far, according to data from the Union health ministry.
Delhi and Mumbai are two cities worst-hit by the coronavirus India. Delhi reported 2,520 new coronavirus cases on Friday, taking the overall tally to 94,695. More than 65,000 people have recovered while 2,923 have died. Mumbai’s coronavirus count rose to 81,634 on Friday and the toll reached 4,759.
Domestic flights resumed in India on May 25. International flights, on the other hand, have been banned till July 31.
India reported a record 22,771 new cases on Saturday, taking the overall tally to 6,48,315. The country’s toll rose to 18,655 with 442 new fatalities. As many as 3,94,226 people have recovered so far.