India bans foreign flights, Pakistan issues advisory

By Eudore R. Chand

Indira Gandhi International Airport Delhi

NEW DELHI 20 March 2020: No scheduled international commercial passenger aircraft shall be allowed to land in India from Sunday, March 22, the government’s Ministry of Information and Broadcasting announced yesterday.

The ban will be in effect for one week as part of the strenuous efforts across this country to stop the spread of the coronavirus. The complete ban of all international passenger flights follows the Indian government’s assessment that almost all transmissions of the virus hitherto in this country is from foreign travel.

There is not yet any significant community transmission of people passing the virus to one another unless they have travelled abroad, medical tests across India have shown. All efforts in India are now aimed at stopping community transmission and limiting travel transmissions, said Wam.

The ministry further said all state governments are being directed to issue “appropriate directions” so that all citizens above the age of 65 shall remain at home except when they need to go out for medical assistance. The restriction exempts public representatives, government employees and medical professionals. “All children below 10 years of age should be advised to stay at home and not to venture out,” the advisory said.

Pakistani community abroad advised to avoid all non-essential travel

ISLAMABAD: Pakistani community abroad was advised to avoid all non-essential travel, stay clear from points of congregation and practice social-distancing in a responsible manner for the safety of their own and of all around.

“We advise our diaspora to exercise caution and personal responsibility for their personal health as well as of those in their family and communities in line with the advisories of local authorities wherever they may be,” Pakistan’s official news agency, APP, quoted country’s Foreign Office spokesperson Aisha Farooqui saying in her opening remarks at the weekly media briefing.


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