Bengaluru, May 28 (IANS) The Karnataka government has requested the Civil Aviation Ministry to reduce the number of flights from five states hit hard by Covid-19 and not a blanket ban on them, a minister clarified on Thursday.
“Karnataka has not sought for imposing a ban on flights emanating from these places, as reported in some sections of the media,” state Law and Parliamentary Affairs Minister J.C. Madhuswamy said in a statement, clarifying his earlier remarks.
The five states are Maharashtra, Tamil Nadu, Gujarat, Madhya Pradesh and Rajasthan.
Karnataka has taken this decision because of the high rate of Covid-19 infection in these five states.
“Karnataka has appealed to the Civil Aviation Ministry to take steps to lessen the air traffic to the state, with the sacred intention that there may not be adequate quarantine facilities if there is a huge turnout at a short span of time,” Madhuswamy explained.
However, the minister did not specify the number of flights Karnataka is ready to receive from these five states.
The clarification comes in the wake of media reports earlier in the day, saying the state cabinet had decided to ban all flights from these five states.
Similarly, Madhuswamy said that restrictions have been imposed on people coming to the state by road from Maharashtra, Tamil Nadu and Gujarat to ensure that adequate quarantine facilities are available.
Another reason for asking limited visitors from the five states is to avert strain on quarantine facilities in Karnataka.
Including primary and secondary contacts, currently there are 23,851 people under observation for Covid-19 in the state.
Of late, the majority of infections in Karnataka are occurring in people returning from other states, mostly Maharashtra.
On Thursday, 85 of the 115 Covid-19 cases in the state were returnees from Maharashtra. Similarly, 84 per cent of the cases on Wednesday were returnees from the same state.