Abu Dhabi, UAEFriday 3 April 2020

Coronavirus: India to ground all domestic passenger flights

Country steps up measures a day after voluntary nationwide lockdown

Passengers board an aircraft at Indira Gandhi International airport in New Delhi. All passenger flights will be grounded from March 25. AFP
Passengers board an aircraft at Indira Gandhi International airport in New Delhi. All passenger flights will be grounded from March 25. AFP

All domestic passenger flights in India will be grounded from March 25 to combat the spread of the novel coronavirus, the government said, as more states ordered lockdowns.

India has already banned incoming international flights and sealed most of its land borders.

The government information bureau said only cargo flights would be allowed to operate.

The measure comes a day after national and commuter rail services were suspended until the end of March.

India has reported seven coronavirus deaths from more than 400 cases, but infections have been rising sharply in recent days.

The country of 1.3 billion observed a voluntary day-long curfew on Sunday in response to a call by Prime Minister Narendra Modi to show a willingness to follow the self-isolation measures needed to prevent the virus from spreading.

At least 80 districts where cases of infection were detected are under stringent lockdown.

Police and healthcare facilities were operating, but commercial establishments have closed except for essential services.

Banks have asked their customers to switch to online transactions and reduced the office staff numbers.

Updated: March 23, 2020 07:13 PM

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