West Bengal Chief Minister Mamata Banerjee has written to Prime Minister Narendra Modi, urging him to stop all flights to the state amid a surge in the coronavirus cases in the country. The virus has infected over 400 people in India and killed seven. Ms Banerjee’s letter comes at a time when over 80 districts across the country have been brought under a lockdown to check the spread of the virus.
“…we are seriously concerned that the government of India is still allowing operation of flights causing a huge breach of shutdown and quarantine protocol with no arrangement of social distancing that we are so painfully managing in the state,” Mamata Banerjee wrote in her letter to the Prime Minister.
The Bengal Chief Minister said her government had already suspended all inter-state public transport and reduced the number of intra-state buses.
“I would therefore, request you to kindly arrange to issue necessary instructions to stop all flights coming to West Bengal with immediate effect so that the source of spreading infection is effectively contained and lockdown in the state is implemented in true letter and spirit,” she said.
Bengal has reported seven cases of coronavirus so far.
Airlines have played the key role in the spread of COVID-19 from a tiny corner in China to every continent and practically every nation in the world. In the process, airlines have been one of the hardest-hit sectors as social distancing started and travel became the first casualty.
West Bengal on Sunday announced a partial lockdown from 5 pm on Monday till March 27 midnight.