Karnataka wants to restrict flights from five states

Coronavirus: Karnataka wants to restrict flights from five states

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The BS Yediyurappa Cabinet on Thursday decided to ask the Civil Aviation Ministry to "reduce" the number of flights flying into the state from Maharashtra, Tamil Nadu, Gujarat, Madhya Pradesh and Rajasthan due to the high load of COVID-19 cases in these states. 

While briefing reporters after the Cabinet meeting, Law Minister JC Madhuswamy said it was decided to "restrict" air travel from these states. Later, the government clarified that it was not a "ban", but a "request" to the Civil Aviation Ministry to reduce the number of flights. 

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The Cabinet also decided to continue the restriction on road travel from Maharashtra, Gujarat and Tamil Nadu until further orders.

The government will also push for restriction of train services, especially from Maharashtra. "Those coming from Maharashtra by road, rail or air, we have decided that we must restrict them for some days. That's because most of our COVID-19 positive cases are from Maharashtra," Madhuswamy said. A decision on prohibiting trains from other states with high caseload will be taken in the coming days.

 

Allowing more people to return from these states will burden Karnataka's existing quarantine facilities. "So, till a batch or two of people currently in quarantine are cleared to go home, Karnataka wants to restrict people from these states," Madhuswamy said.

Several Cabinet ministers favoured restricting movement of people from the five states, especially Maharashtra. "Testing everyone in quarantine has burdened the state's testing infrastructure. Tests are also not being completed (on time) due to the large number of arrivals from these states," he said. 

The police in the northern districts of Karnataka have been directed to be extra vigilant along Maharashtra border. "There are fears that around 20,000-30,000 people could cross over from the state along the dry riverbed of Bhima river," Madhuswamy said.

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