New Delhi: Leading German airline Lufthansa on Wednesday announced that it would ground 150 planes of its fleet of 750 around the world to contain the transmission of deadly novel coronavirus via international flights. Also Read - Coronavirus Cases in India Cross 1.9 Lakh-mark; Delhi Seals Border With UP, Haryana For 1 Week | Key Developments
The airlines giant had already suspended its routes to several virus hotspots including China, Iran, Italy and it is functioning on limited routes within Germany. Also Read - Imran Khan Says it Was 'Mistake' to Enforce Strict Lockdown Even as COVID-19 Cases Cross 72,000-mark
(Follow LIVE Updates on coronavirus) Also Read - Coronavirus in Maharashtra: 2361 Cases, 76 Deaths in 24 Hours; Total Tally Crosses 70,000-mark
Lufthansa released its statement after its shares fell due to the likely impact of a global epidemic that started affecting flight travellers around the world. Many have started cancelling their trips as the fear of a near pandemic grips people across over 40 nations.
Notably, a total of 29 people have tested positive for COVID-19 in India till Wednesday evening, after the latest case of a Paytm employee was reported in Gurugram.
Yesterday, India’s aviation regulator Directorate General of Civil Aviation (DGCA) issued an advisory to all airlines, asking them to ensure that adequate protective gears like surgical masks, gloves are available in flights for passengers.
Subsequently, as Iran and Italy have emerged as major hubs of coronavirus infection, Union Health Minister Harsh Vardhan stated that all international travellers will be screened. Earlier, the screening tests were being conducted for flights from select 12 countries.