Tamil Nadu tells centre not to open flight services until May 31st
The state of Tamil Nadu has asked the central government to not restart flights in the state until the 31st of May, fearing that it can lead to the increase in the number of corona cases.
While as per the plan, flights are scheduled to begin from Monday, but the state has asked the civil aviation ministry to postpone this decision ahead of the rising COVID cases in the state. The government had earlier decided that the flight operation will begin from the metro cities and its operation will slowly be increased thereafter.
The state of Tamil Nadu also said that apart from the fear of contagion spread, the Chennai city does not have enough public transport because of this lockdown. A senior officer commented that they are yet to hear from the civil aviation ministry in this regard.
The state is also not in favour of reopening other airports around Tamil Nadu as it feels the bulk of passengers would be for Chennai-bound and that the state has not yet made any arrangements to facilitate their return.
However, Chennai airport has brought in ‘touch free’ system and other anti-virus measures that includes contact-less security, boarding and other thermal screenings. Apart from this, the state has planned quarantine for those arriving from the other cities although the civil aviation minister Hardeep Singh Puri was not in favour of a quarantine for short flights.
Tamil Nadu stands at 14,000 cases, followed by Maharashtra that has over 40,000 cases. As a part of the Vande Bharat mission, Chennai received slight flights this month. Two Air India flights from Dubai bought home 356 Indians. Few of them tested positive for this. Over 95 have died in Tamil Nadu and about 2600 people who had links to Koyambedu market had also tested positive for COVID.