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24 Mar 2020 | 06:31 AM UTC

India: Domestic flights suspended as of March 25 /update 14

Indian authorities announce the suspension of domestic flights due to COVID-19 starting March 25; contact airlines for information



Indian authorities announced that as of Wednesday, March 25, domestic flights will be suspended in efforts to control the spread of the coronavirus (COVID-19). The measure will enter into effect as of 00:01 on March 25, though no information was provided as to when flights would resume. International arrivals and departures have been suspended since Sunday, March 22.

Distinct measures have been implemented in individual states across the country in efforts to control the spread of COVID-19. In total, 80 districts in 17 states and five Union Territories, including Delhi, will be placed on lockdown. Only essential services in the districts will be permitted to operate. All inter-state buses, passenger trains, and metro services have been suspended nationwide until March 31. A complete lockdown in Delhi is in effect since 06:00 (local time) on Monday, March 23, until Tuesday, March 31. As such, public transportation will be suspended, and non-essential businesses have been ordered to shut down. Land borders with neighboring states will be sealed, and only essential goods and items will be allowed through.

As of Tuesday, March 24, there are 511 COVID-19 cases in the country including ten fatalities. Further international spread of the virus is to be expected over the near term. 


The first case of COVID-19 was reported on December 31 and the source of the outbreak has been linked to a wet market in Wuhan (Hubei province, China). Human-to-human and patient-to-medical staff transmission of the virus have been confirmed. Many of the associated fatalities have been due to pneumonia caused by the virus.

Cases of the virus have been confirmed in numerous countries and territories worldwide. Virus-screening and quarantining measures are being implemented at airports worldwide, as well as extensive travel restrictions. On March 11, the World Health Organization (WHO) declared the global outbreak a pandemic.

Pneumonia symptoms include dry cough, chest pain, fever, and labored breathing. Pneumonia can be contagious and can be transmitted from human to human. The influenza virus, or the flu, is a common cause of viral pneumonia.


Measures adopted by local authorities evolve quickly, and are usually effective immediately. Depending on the evolution of the outbreak in other countries, authorities are likely to modify, at very short notice, the list of countries whose travelers are subject to border control measures or entry restrictions upon their arrival to the territory in question. It is advised to postpone non-essential travel due to the risk that travelers may be refused entry or be subject to quarantine upon their arrival or during their stay.

To reduce the risk of transmission, travelers are advised to abide by the following measures:

  • Frequently clean hands by applying an alcohol-based hand rub or washing with soap and water.
  • When coughing and sneezing, cover mouth and nose with a flexed elbow or tissue; if used, throw the tissue away immediately and wash hands.
  • If experiencing a fever, cough, difficulty breathing, or any other symptoms suggestive of respiratory illness, including pneumonia, call emergency services before going to the doctor or hospital to prevent the potential spread of the disease.