New Delhi, Mar 19, 2020: In a step to curb the rising cases of Coronavirus in the country, India on Thursday banned the entry of all international commercial passenger flights from March 22. A statement released by the Centre read, "No scheduled international commercial passenger aircraft shall be allowed to land in India from March 22, 2020, for one week", Zee reported.
The government also said, "State Governments shall issue appropriate directions so that all citizens above 65 (other than for medical assistance) except for public representatives/govt. servants/medical professionals are advised to remain at home. Similarly, all children below 10 should be advised to stay at home and not to venture out."
It added that railways and civil aviation "shall suspend all concessional travel except for students, patients and divyang category.".
The government has also asked states to enforce work for home for private-sector employees except those working in emergency or essential services. "To reduce crowding all Group B and C Central govt. employees will be asked to A attend offices on the alternate week and staggered timings for all employees," the statement added.
Earlier, the Ministry of External Affairs (MEA) has announced that the emergency SAARC fund proposed by Prime Minister Narendra Modi to combat the COVID-19 has been operationalised, adding that India has received requests from member countries for assistance. He added that crisis of this magnitude does not recognise borders and so in this spirit, the PM had called the SAARC video-conference on coronavirus.
Speaking on the evacuation of Indians across several nations the MEA explained that the situation in Iran is very severe but the government has evacuated 590 people from there. "Our mission is in complete control and are in operation. In the time to come, we will evacuate the rest of the people," added the MEA.
India has recorded a total of 166 positive cases and four deaths.