New Delhi: India on Monday opened its skies for the first time in two months, as domestic flight operations resumed nationwide, except in Andhra Pradesh and West Bengal, since being suspended late March due to the COVID-19 pandemic. Also Read - Action Has Returned to Indian Skies, Says Aviation Minister Puri as 532 Flights Resume Operation on First Day
Elsewhere, the country saw a jump of more than 6,000 new cases for a fourth consecutive day, registering, in fact, nearly 7,000 cases-its largest single-day spike thus far. Also Read - SC Allows Air India to Resume Non-Scheduled International Flights With Middle-seat Bookings For Next 10 Days
Here’s all you need to know: Also Read - Confusion And Chaos Continue: More Than 80 Flights Cancelled at Delhi Airport on Day 1; Flyers Stranded Across The Country
(1.) In the last 24 hours, India registered a mammoth 6,977 new cases of coronavirus, its highest single-day spike thus far. Thus, the country currently has more than 1.4 lakh cases, including over 60,000 recoveries and over 4,000 deaths.
(2.) Before Monday, India’s last three single-day figures were 6,767, 6,654 and 6,008 respectively. With its current COVID-19 count, India now also finds itself among the ten worst-hit countries, being at number 10, having surpassed Iran. US, Russia and UK are the three worst-hit countries respectively.
(3.) In some good news, domestic flight operations resumed on Monday since being suspended on March 25; however, there was much confusion on the first day of flight operations resumption, with Delhi alone seeing more than 80 flights being cancelled.
(4.) “Action has returned to Indian skies,’ said Union Civil Aviation Minister Hardeep Singh Puri as he announced that 532 flights facilitated movements of 39,231 passengers, adding that with Andhra Pradesh and West Bengal resuming operations later, these numbers will increase.
(5.) Andhra Pradesh’s Vijaywada and Visakhapatnam airports will resume operations from Tuesday while West Bengal’s Kolkata and Bagdogra airports will be operational from May 28 as the state, along with COVID-19, is also battling the aftermath of Cyclone Amphan.
(6.) The Supreme Court on Monday, hearing urgent petitions by the Centre and Air India, gave the national carrier permission to operate non-scheduled international flights, while keeping bookings for middle seats open, for the next 10 days. In doing so, the apex court overturned a directive of the Bombay High Court.
(7.) Maharashtra, the worst-hit state in the country, which crossed the 50,000-mark on Sunday, registered 2,436 new cases, which took its overall tally to 52,667. The next three worst-affected states-Tamil Nadu, Gujarat and Delhi respectively-saw their numbers spike to 17,082, 14,468 and 14,063.
(8.) Uttar Pradesh’s Ghaziabad sealed its border with Delhi yet again after a spurt in cases on Sunday. While essential services will be allowed, the district administration said that the sealing would be ‘as stringent as during lockdown 2.0.’
(9.) The day was not without its share of controversy as Union Minister and former Karnataka CM DV Sadananda Gowada, on landing in Bengaluru from Delhi, skipped the seven-day institutional quarantine as mandated by the state government. His response? “As a minister, I’m exempted.”
(10.) The day’s second controversy also involved a BJP leader, MP and Delhi BJP chief Manoj Tiwari, who, not withstanding the sealed Haryana-Delhi borders, landed up in Haryana’s Sonipat, and played cricket at an academy there.