Days after West Bengal Chief Minister Mamata Banerjee sought a ban on flights from hotspot areas, and West Bengal Chief Secretary Rajiva Sinha wrote to the Aviation Ministry, flights from six cities have been temporarily halted. This means that from July 6 onwards there will be no flight to Kolkata that will leave from Delhi, Mumbai, Pune, Nagpur, Chennai and Ahmedabad.
"It is informed that no flights shall operate to Kolkata from Delhi, Mumbai, Pune, Nagpur, Chennai and Ahmedabad from 6th to 19th July 2020 or till further order whichever is earlier," the Kolkata Airport Twitter handle confirmed.
A few days ago, Rajiva Sinha had written to the Secretary of the Ministry of Civil Aviation, P.S. Kharola, urging him to stop domestic flights from areas with a high COVID-19 caseload, so as to prevent the spread of the virus in the eastern state.
“West Bengal is witnessing a steep rise in cases...Accordingly, I request you not to schedule any flight to Kolkata or Bagdogra from high prevalence places viz. Delhi, Mumbai, Pune, Nagpur, Chennai, Indore, Ahmedabad and Surat for two weeks from July,” Mr Sinha had said
Chief Minister Mamata Banerjee too had echoed similar sentiments towards the end of June. Hitting out at the Centre, the Chief Minister had alleged that quarantine rules were not being followed, and with there being no control over domestic flight passengers, there was a possibility of more COVID-19 cases cropping up in the state. She had also opined that international flights should not operate.
"The Government of India said those arriving will be put in 7-day quarantine, but no health protocol is being followed. How much can we control while some are reckless. So, the chief secretary is writing to the GoI to stop foreign flights," she had said on June 26. The Chief Minister had also cited an instance wherein a COVID-19 patient had travelled via flight from Chennai.