West Bengal urges Centre not to schedule flights from 8 cities with high COVID-19 cases

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The West Bengal government urged the Centre to not schedule any flight from high prevalence cities like Delhi, Mumbai and Pune to the state for two weeks amid rise in the number of COVID-19 cases.

In a letter to Civil Aviation Secretary P S Kharola, West Bengal Chief Secretary Rajiva Sinha requested him to stop the movement of flights from eight cities to Kolkata or Bagdogra for two weeks starting July 6.

“West Bengal is also witnessing a steep rise in cases. A large number of cases has been reported from people coming (to) the state from outside with infection. The government of West Bengal has decided to stop or curtail movement of incoming flights and trains into the state.

“Accordingly, I approach you with a request kindly not to schedule any flight to West Bengal from high prevalence places like Delhi, Mumbai, Pune, Nagpur, Chennai, Indore, Ahmedabad and Surat and stop movements of flights from these cities to Kolkata or Bagdogra for two weeks starting July 6,” Sinha wrote in the letter.

Sinha also requested the aviation secretary to limit the number of flights to Kolkata, Bagdogra and Andal from other cities to a frequency of once a week for each airline from July 6 to 31.

Chief Minister Mamata Banerjee had on Monday said that her government would urge the Centre to limit domestic flights to the state to just one day a week, as the number of infections went up once people from outside started returning to West Bengal.

The chief secretary made a request to the Union government to temporarily stop trains to West Bengal from places having high incidence of COVID-19 cases so that the spread of the virus can be arrested, she had said.

West Bengal on Tuesday registered its highest single-day spike of 652 COVID-19 cases, which pushed the total tally in the state to 18,559, the health department said.

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