Passenger flights to Kolkata have been banned from six coronavirus hotspot cities in wake of rising coronavirus cases. The ban which was already existing has now been extended till July 31, airport sources informed on Friday. The six cities from where passenger flights have been banned to Kolkata are Delhi, Mumbai, Pune, Chennai, Nagpur and Ahmedabad, Netaji Subhash Chandra Bose International (NSCBI) airport tweeted.
Decision after govt's request
The decision has been taken on the request of the state government to restrict movement from cities with high prevalence of coronavirus cases in order to contain the spread of infections, it said in the tweet.
West Bengal Chief Secretary Rajiva Sinha on Friday evening wrote to Union Civil Aviation Secretary Pradeep Singh Kharola requesting suspension of flights from six metros, witnessing maximum of the COVID-19 infections, to the city till July 31.
"In view of the current situation it is again requested that no flights from Delhi, Mumbai, Pune, Nagpur, Chennai and Ahmedabad be scheduled for Kolkata up to July 31," Sinha wrote.
On July 4, the Kolkata airport had announced that there would be no passenger flight to the capital city between July 6-19 from cities like Delhi, Mumbai, Pune, Nagpur, Chennai, Indore, Ahmedabad and Surat that have high prevalence of COVID-19 cases. It was done on the request of the state's Chief Secretary.
West Bengal witnessing steep rise in COVID cases
West Bengal is witnessing a steep rise in cases, the CS had then said, adding that a large number of cases have been reported from people coming into the state from outside. The state government has decided to stop or curtail movement of incoming flights and trains into the state, Sinha had then noted. There is no let-up in novel coronavirus rage in the state.
West Bengal's COVID-19 tally reached 38,011 Friday after it reported a record single-day spike of 1,894 cases, while the death toll jumped to 1,049 with 26 more fatalities.
India resumed domestic passenger flights from May 25, after a gap of two months due to the coronavirus-induced lockdown. Scheduled international passenger flights are still suspended in India.
Domestic passenger services began at the Kolkata airport and Bagdogra airport on May 28 instead of May 25 as the state government's machinery was involved in relief and restoration work after cyclone Amphan's devastation.
During the pre-COVID period, the Kolkata airport operated around 200 domestic and 35 international flights regularly.