'International Flights May Even Start By June'

23 May, 2020 17:13 IST|Sakshi

India will try to restart international passenger flights by June middle or end July if virus behaves predictably, says Puri

Aarogya Setu, excellent contact-tracing app, says Puri

India’s total count of cases rose to 1,25,101, including 3,720 deaths, on Saturday

NEW DELHI: Three days after announcing resumption of domestic flights from May 25, Civil Aviation Minister Hardeep Singh Puri on Saturday said India will try to restart international passenger flights before August.

"I am fully hopeful that before August or September, we will try to start a good percentage of international civil aviation operations, if not complete international operations," Puri said during a Facebook live session.

"I can't put a date on it (restarting international flights). But if somebody says can it be done by August or September, my response is why not earlier depending on what is the situation," he said.

"Why wait till August or September? If situation eases or improves, if virus behaves in predictable manner and we get used to co-exist(ing) with it, we're in position to make arrangements. Why not start by June middle or end July?" Puri further said.

All scheduled commercial passenger flights have been suspended in India since March 25 when the Modi government imposed a lockdown to contain the COVID-19 pandemic.

After Puri announced on Thursday said that there would be no 14-day quarantine for passengers on domestic flights, the administrations of Andhra Pradesh, Telangana, Karnataka, Kerala, Assam and Jammu and Kashmir announced that all passengers arriving by domestic flights will have to undergo either home or institutional quarantine. Exemptions will be made for the elderly, the terminally-ill, children and pregnant women.

"Don't understand the need for quarantine of passenger who has green status on Aarogya Setu app. I would recommend Aarogya Setu app to everyone. It's an excellent contact-tracing device," he said today , as reported by a news agency.

India’s total count of cases rose to 1,25,101, including 3,720 deaths, on Saturday, according to the union ministry's update. In the last 24 hours, the country reported 6,654 cases and 137 deaths.

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