Coronavirus Alert! As the coronavirus cases in the country have gone up to 415, the Union Civil Aviation Ministry on Monday banned the domestic commercial flights to operate in the country from Wednesday night. However, the ministry said that the ban is not applicable to cargo flights. Also Read - Coronavirus: National Task Force for COVID-19 Recommends Hydroxychloroquine in High-Risk Cases
“The operations of domestic scheduled commercial airlines shall cease with effect from midnight on March 24. The restrictions shall not apply to cargo flights,” the ministry said in a statement. Also Read - Delhi Budget 2020-21: ‘Govt Sets Aside Rs 50 Crore to Deal With Coronavirus,' Says Sisodia
The Aviation Ministry said that the airlines will have to land all their domestic passenger flights at destinations by 11.59 PM on Tuesday. Also Read - Coronavirus Lockdown Mumbai, Maharashtra: All You Need to Know About Maharashtra Lockdown Over Coronavirus
The development comes after the Union Health Ministry, earlier in the day, told the Civil Aviation Ministry that airlines have to take the responsibility of monitoring the health of crew members, who flew abroad on duty, during their stay in India.
“If a laboratory positive case of COVID-19 is found in a flight, the entire crew has to be de-rostered for minimum 14 days. The crew needs to follow home-isolation during the time at their own country,” the Health Ministry wrote to Civil Aviation Ministry.
The development comes as coronavirus cases rose to 415 in the country and seven people had died till Saturday evening due to the virus.
On the other hand, the Directorate General of Civil Aviation (DGCA) issued circular to all scheduled airlines in the country and airport operators and asked them to ensure that boarding is done in a manner to avoid bunching of passengers at any time and also ensure adequate spacing between passengers in boarding lines.
According to the circular, the seat allocation at the time of check-in to should done to in a manner to ensure that the seat between two passengers is kept empty and the cabin crew has to maintain adequate distance while serving the passengers.