India’s government has announced a temporary halt to all commercial flight arrivals, as part of a series of measures being put in place to contain the spread of coronavirus in the country.
The Press Information Bureau issued a bulletin on Thursday outlining a series of new policies aimed at combating Covid-19. Passenger aircraft will be barred from landing in India for one week, starting on March 22, the press release said. Discounted railway travel and civil aviation will be suspended except for students, patients and people with disabilities.
Additionally, citizens above the age of 65, and children below the age of 10, have been encouraged to stay at home until the health crisis passes. New Delhi has also called on private firms to ask their employees to work remotely. Government employees will have staggered schedules in order to reduce the risk of human-spread infection.
The new measures will not be accompanied by a nationwide lockdown – a claim that was spread widely on social media, but fiercely denied by the government.
India has fared surprisingly well amid the coronavirus outbreak, with around 180 confirmed cases and four deaths as of Thursday.
Globally, the pandemic has infected 220,000 and killed 9,000, according to current tallies. China – the epicenter of the virus – registered its first day without local infections since the start of the outbreak more than two months ago. However, Covid-19’s spread west has left Europe and the United States bracing for what many believe will be a devastating health crisis.
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