T.N. not in favour of re­sum­ing flight ser­vices

‘State gov­ern­ment may take up is­sue with the Cen­tre’

The Hindu - - FRONT PAGE - Press Trust of In­dia

With the spike in COVID-19 cases in Tamil Nadu, the State gov­ern­ment has op­posed re­sump­tion of flights con­nect­ing cities in the State till the month-end, and might take up the mat­ter with the Cen­tre, an of­fi­cial said on Fri­day. The im­me­di­ate con­cern of the gov­ern­ment is to screen all pas­sen­gers ar­riv­ing in the State. The Civil Avi­a­tion Min­istry will re­sume the ser­vices from Mon­day.

With the spike in COVID-19 cases weigh­ing heav­ily upon it, the Tamil Nadu gov­ern­ment has come out against re­sump­tion of do­mes­tic flights con­nect­ing cities in the State, till the month-end, and may take up the mat­ter with the Cen­tre, an of­fi­cial said on Fri­day.

With the Union Civil Avi­a­tion Min­istry gear­ing up to re­sume the ser­vices from Mon­day, Tamil Nadu hopes that the plans will be de­ferred.

Of­fi­cials in the Sec­re­tar­iat said that the stand taken by Chief Min­is­ter Edap­padi K. Palaniswam­i against the re­sump­tion of reg­u­lar air ser­vices till May 31 re­mained.

“The gov­ern­ment may take up the is­sue with the Cen­tre,” an of­fi­cial told PTI.

The im­me­di­ate con­cern of the gov­ern­ment is to screen all pas­sen­gers ar­riv­ing in the State and keep track of the in­fected, if any. The sheer vol­ume of pas­sen­gers at the air­ports would make the health ma­chin­ery con­cen­trate more on in­bound vis­i­tors, of­fi­cials said.

In the last ten days, the Health Depart­ment has de­tected 66 cases among re­turnees from abroad by flights and from other States by trains. They have all been quar­an­tined.

Govt. guide­lines

As per the gov­ern­ment guide­lines on COVID-19 preven­tion and man­age­ment, all per­sons en­ter­ing the State should be scanned for the virus and if found to have symp­toms, have to be taken to gov­ern­ment fa­cil­i­ties for treat­ment. Those who don’t show symp­toms will be home quar­an­tined.

Dur­ing his in­ter­ac­tion with the Prime Min­is­ter through video-con­fer­enc­ing on May 11, Mr. Palaniswam­i had pitched against restart­ing of air and rail ser­vices in Tamil Nadu, till May-end.

An air­port of­fi­cial said that the sched­ule of pas­sen­ger flights that would ar­rive here af­ter re­sump­tion of ser­vices was yet to be re­ceived. Of­fi­cials are gear­ing up for op­er­a­tions at the air­port, which has only han­dled cargo ser­vices since the lock­down was en­forced.

PTI ■

Gear­ing up: Ar­range­ments are un­der way at Chen­nai air­port to re­sume do­mes­tic flight op­er­a­tions on May 25.

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