After claiming thousands of lives in China, Italy and Iran, global pandemic Coronavirus has now affected over 177 countries, including India. As India has recorded the more than 3,500 confirmed cases and more than 90 deaths, the Indian government is trying all means to contain the pandemic. On March 19, the Centre banned all international commercial passenger aircraft from landing on any airport in the country, for a week starting March 22.
As senior citizens are most vulnerable to the pandemic, the government has also asked respective state governments to issue directions to persons aged above 65 years to remain at home.
Ban on international flights
As per the directive, no scheduled international commercial passenger flight will take off from any foreign airport to any airport in India from March 22. The instructions will remain in force until March 29. It further added that a max travel time of 20 hours is permissible for such commercial passenger flights to land in India.
However, the nation went on lock down from March 25, 2020, due to the coronavirus outbreak. This decision led to further extension of the travel ban as all flights are now grounded till April 15.
Instructions for kids & senior citizens
The release from the Press Information Bureau also mentioned that state Governments shall issue “appropriate directions so that all citizens above 65 except for public representatives/govt. servants/medical professionals are advised to remain at home.” People who need to go out for seeking medical assistance will be exempted from this ban.
The government has also advised children aged below 10 years of age to stay indoors as the scare of deadly virus looms large.
All concessional travel to cease
Indian Railways and civil aviation have also been advised to cease all concessional travel for all persons except for patients, students and persons with disabilities. Concessional travel in trains is allowed for senior citizen card holders, persons with disabilities and students.
Enforce work from home
For the first time, the government has advised state governments to enforce work from home so as to maintain social distancing as the pandemic spreads from human to human on a large scale. The press note read, “States are being requested to enforce work for home for private-sector employees except those working in emergency essential services.”
The work from home practice has to be majorly followed by the employees in groups B and C. Only employees in the A category have been asked to come to their respective government offices.
Coronavirus in India
With more than 90 deaths and over 3,500 confirmed cases, India is currently in the second stage of the pandemic, which means that the country now has infected people with a foreign travel and locals with no travel history at all. To avoid/delay the third stage, when community transmission begins on a large scale, the government has implemented several measures. India is screening all the people at airports and has suspended visas till April 15. Health ministry has urged people to contact their emergency helpline number – +91-11-23978046 – for all queries and assistance on coronavirus.
India’s first case was reported on January 30 from Kerala and within a span of two months the number increased to more than 3,500. With more than 700 infections, Maharashtra is the worst affected state followed by Kerala, Haryana and Karnataka.
(Curated by Priya Pareek)