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All domestic commercial airlines to cease operations from tomorrow mid-night

All domestic commercial airlines to cease operations from tomorrow mid-nightJoint Secretary in the Ministry of Health and Family Welfare Lav Agarwal
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In view to stop the spread of Coronavirus (COVID-19), the Union Government today decided to cease the operations of all domestic commercial airlines...

In view to stop the spread of Coronavirus (COVID-19), the Union Government today decided to cease the operations of all domestic commercial airlines from mid-night on March 24, 2020. However, the restrictions shall not apply to solely cargo-carrying flight. The information on the suspension of passenger flights was given by Joint Secretary in the Ministry of Health and Family Welfare Lav Agarwal.

Mr Agarwal said, 19 States and Union Territories have issued orders for complete lockdown. These States and Union Territories include Chandigarh, Delhi, Goa, Jammu and Kashmir, Nagaland, Rajasthan, Uttarakhand, West Bengal, Ladakh, Jharkhand, Arunachal Pradesh, Bihar, Tripura, Telangana, Chattisgarh, Punjab, Himachal Pradesh, Maharashtra and Andhra Pradesh.

The government's announcement came as the number of coronavirus cases rose to 415 in the country and seven deaths were reported so far.

Mr Agarwal said, Cabinet Secretary has asked the Chief Secretaries of States and Union Territories to implement the restrictions strictly and action must be taken against the prohibition. Home Secretary in the meeting with Director General of Police of the States has asked them to impose restrictions more strictly. He said the main objective is to break the chain of transmission. He said, the government is augmenting its health care capacities and states have been requested to prepare dedicated hospitals for treatment of Corona patients.

Besides, the operations at the Terminal 3 of Indira Gandhi International Airport (IGI) will remain suspended till March 29, 2020, as a precaution against the coronavirus pandemic. Terminal 3 handles all international flights that land in the national capital, Delhi. Operations at T3 international arrivals will remain suspended till 0531 hours of March 29, 2020.

Indian Council of Medical Research (ICMR) Director-General Dr Balram Bhargav said, instructions have been issued to conduct the test and 12 laboratories chains having 15 thousand collection centres have started testing. He said, two kit manufacturers have been approved so far. On the use of drug Hydroxychloroquine as prophylaxis for COVID infection, he said, it can be given to asymptomatic health care workers involved in the care of suspected and confirmed cases of COVID-19 and asymptomatic household contact of laboratory-confirmed cases. He refuted the reported shortage of Hydroxy-chloroquine and said there is enough stock in the country.

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