West Bengal Lockdown News: In a significant development, the Kolkata Airport on Monday decided to start operations of out-bound flights to the six Covid hotspots of the country. Also Read - NIA Arrests: 'West Bengal Has Become Home to Illegal Bomb-making,' Governor Takes Swipe at Police
As per the announcement, the Kolkata airport will now operate flights to Delhi, Mumbai, Chennai, Pune, Nagpur, and Ahmedabad. Also Read - NIA Busts Major Terror Module, Arrests 9 Suspected Al-Qaeda Operatives For 'Plotting Attacks on Vital Installations'
However, the ban on the in-bound flights to Kolkata from these hotspots will remain in place. The clearance from the airport authorities comes in the wake of airlines’ decision to operate aircraft that are arriving from non-COVID hotspots to Kolkata. Also Read - Just a Day After Lifting Lockdown, This Country Reported 2020 New Covid-19 Cases
The airport had last week extended the suspension of flights to Kolkata from six metros with high prevalence of COVID-19 cases till 31 August.
Earlier, the temporary restriction on the arrival of flights to Kolkata airport from Delhi, Mumbai, Pune, Chennai, Nagpur and Ahmedabad was extended till 15 August.
Writing a letter to the secretary of the Ministry of Civil Aviation, West Bengal Home Secretary Alapan Bandyopadhyay said that the suspension of flights from the six cities to Kolkata will continue till 31 August, 2020.
The ban on flights from the six metros was first imposed for a period of 14 days from 6 July. It was initially extended till 31 July, and then subsequently to 15 August and now till August 31.
The development comes at a time when the state on Sunday reported 3,066 new cases of coronavirus infection, taking the tally to 1,16,498.
Total 2,935 people recovered from the disease in the last 24 hours, improving the discharge rate to 74.48 per cent.
Thirteen people died in Kolkata, followed by 10 deaths in North 24 Parganas, nine in Howrah, and five fatalities in Darjeeling.
Four deaths were reported from the South 24 Parganas district, three from Purba Medinipur and two each from Jalpaiguri and Purba Bardhaman, while one each was recorded in Hooghly, Malda and Birbhum districts.
Kolkata accounted for 563 new cases, followed by North 24 Parganas at 560, Purba Medinipur at 222, and South 24 Parganas at 211, the bulletin said.