New Delhi: A day before domestic flights are set to resume across the country, Maharashtra Home Minister Anil Deshmukh has launched a veiled attack on the Narendra Modi-led Centre saying that it is extremely ill-advised to reopen airports in the red zone (COVID-19 affected areas). Also Read - Fresh Lockdown in Karnataka, Assam, Arunachal Pradesh, Meghalaya: Will Mini-Lockdowns Help Fighting COVID-19?
“It’s extremely ill-advised to reopen airports in red zone. Mere thermal scanning of passengers inadequate w/o swabs. Impossible to have autos/cabs/buses ply in current circumstances. Adding positive passenger will add Covid stress to red zone”, Deshmukh tweeted today. Also Read - Maharashtra Lockdown Extension News: 'Total' Shutdown in Thane District, Navi Mumbai, UMC Till July 19 With Minimum Exemptions
In another tweet, he said, ”Getting passengers to come from a green zone to a red one putting them to risk of exposure doesn’t make sense. Keeping a busy airport up and running with all COVID-19 safety measures will need huge staff presence and compound risk in the red zone.” Also Read - Dharavi Flattens Its COVID Curve: After WHO's Praise, BMC Official's Insight on Efforts, Approach & Challenges For Curbing Spread | Read Here
His tweet comes a day after the Uddhav Thackeray-led Maharashtra government stated that it had not yet amended its May 19 lockdown order which allowed only certain kinds of flights.
As per the May 19 order of the state government extending the coronavirus-induced lockdown to May 31, all domestic and international air travel, except for domestic medical services, domestic air ambulance and for security purposes as permitted by Ministry of Home Affairs (MHA), will continue to remain prohibited across the state.
“We have not yet amended this lockdown order issued on May 19,” an official said when asked about resumption of passenger flights in Maharashtra.
Earlier in the day , the Mamata Banerjee-led West Bengal government also joined the bandwagon and red-flagged the centre’s plan to restore domestic flights. Tamil Nadu had also opposed the government and urged the Civil Aviation Ministry to postpone the plan till the end of this month.