Coronavirus Outbreak: Mamata Banerjee asks Centre to stop international, domestic flights to Kolkata till 31 July

Mamata Banerjee also said she wants the metro rail services to resume from 1 July, but only with 100-percent seat occupancy and no passenger standing.

Press Trust of India June 26, 2020 23:57:30 IST
Coronavirus Outbreak: Mamata Banerjee asks Centre to stop international, domestic flights to Kolkata till 31 July

New Delhi: West Bengal chief minister Mamata Banerjee urged the Centre on Friday to stop international repatriation flights and domestic flights to Kolkata from states with a high COVID-19 prevalence till 31 July and relaxed the night curfew in the state by an hour from 1 July.

She also said she wants the metro rail services to resume from 1 July, but only with 100-percent seat occupancy and no passenger standing.

"We have decided that (from 1 July) the night curfew hours will be from 10 pm to 5 am. We also want the metro rail to resume services from 1 July while following all the precautionary and sanitisation norms and only with a 100-per cent seat occupancy policy," Banerjee told a press conference in Kolkata.

Currently the night curfew hours are from 9 pm to 5 am.

Alleging that those coming to the state by air are not being adequately screened at the airports, leading to an increase in the number of coronavirus cases, Banerjee urged the Centre to stop domestic flights to Kolkata from states with a high COVID-19 prevalence till 31 July.

"Recently we came to know that a few COVID-19 patients came from Chennai and were not screened at the airport. Later, they got themselves admitted to a hospital in Midnapore. We are planning to write a letter to the Centre to stop domestic flights and special trains to Kolkata till July 31 from hotspots and those states with a high number of Covid-19 cases," the chief minister said while inaugurating various projects online from the state secretariat.

She also urged the Union government to stop international repatriation flights to the state as the returnees are not following the institutional quarantine norms, leading to a spike in the number of coronavirus cases in West Bengal.

"As far as international flights are concerned, we will send a letter to the Centre to stop the service as of now. If they want to go ahead with their plan, then I think they should allow one flight a month by strictly following all the safety norms," Banerjee said.

"The domestic flights within the state from Kolkata to Bagdogra in Siliguri and Andal in Burdwan can operate. We do not have any objection to that," she added.

The chief minister said the Kolkata metro should ensure that it runs trains without any passenger standing or the coaches being overcrowded.

Earlier this week, Banerjee announced the extension of the coronavirus-induced lockdown in the state till 31 July.

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