Karnataka urges Centre to reduce number of incoming flights

The state fears rising cases could lead to a shortage of quarantine facilities

flights-airport Representational Image | Salil Bera

The Karnataka government on Thursday urged the Union Civil Aviation ministry to reduce the number of flights coming into the state from COVID-hit Maharashtra, Tamil Nadu, Gujarat, Madhya Pradesh and Rajasthan.

Law and Parliamentary Affairs J.C. Madhuswamy clarified that the state had not sought a ban on flights but only a reduction in the number of incoming flights. 

Karnataka has appealed to the Civil Aviation ministry to take steps to lessen the air traffic to the state, fearing there could be a shortage of quarantine facilities, if there is huge turnout in a short span of time, he added.

The minister also said some restrictions have been imposed on people coming by road from the states of Maharashtra, Tamil Nadu and Gujarat to ensure adequate quarantine facilities.

The state government had earlier in the day decided to restricted incoming transport, including trains and other vehicles, from these five states to contain the spread of the coronavirus.

The cabinet decision came in the wake of a fresh spike in the COVID-19 cases in Karnataka. With 75 cases reported in last 24 hours, the total number of coronavirus cases in the state has gone up to 2,493. According to state health department, 47 people have succumbed to the disease so far while 809 patients recovered.

Of the 75 latest cases, 46 are returnees from Maharashtra, six from Tamil Nadu, two from Telangana and one each from Kerala and Delhi.

With 56,948 cases, Maharashtra has the highest number of COVID-19 cases in the country. Tamil Nadu has 18,545 cases while Gujarat has recorded over 15,000 cases.

On May 18, Karnataka had banned entry of people from Maharashtra, Gujarat, Tamil Nadu and Kerala.

(With inputs)