India isolated amid covid crisis as UAE, Kuwait, Saudi Arabia, US, UK, Canada ban flights

News Network
April 24, 2021

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Newsroom, Apr 24: Hit hard by the second wave of the covid-19, India is almost isolated by its prominent global allies. While countries such as Saudi Arabia, United Kingdom, Canada, Hong Kong, New Zealand, UAE, Indonesia, Kuwait and Australia have banned flights from India. France has imposed mandatory quarantine for Indian passengers and the United States’ Centers for Disease Control (CDC) has advised against travel to India.

Daily cases in India have gone past the 300,000 mark and industry experts are doubtful that the flight bans will be lifted soon.

Who banned flights from India?

1) Kuwait: Kuwait's directorate general of civil aviation said early on Saturday in a tweet that it had suspended all direct commercial flights coming from India, effective April 24 and until further notice.

All passengers arriving from India either directly or via another country will be banned from entering unless they have spent at least 14 days out of India, the statement said. Kuwaiti citizens, their first degree relatives and their domestic workers will be allowed to enter. Cargo is unaffected.

2) Saudi Arabia: Saudi Arabia said that a halt to international flights will be lifted as of May 17, but will not apply to the countries with which travel is banned by a state committee tasked with tackling COVID-19 due to the outbreak of the virus, local media reported. The 20 countries on the ban list are Argentina, the UAE, France, Germany, the US, Indonesia, India, Japan, Ireland, Italy, Pakistan, Brazil, Portugal, the UK, Turkey, South Africa, Sweden, Switzerland, Lebanon, and Egypt.

3) UAE: “In short, the near collapse of India’s ability to deal with the COVID fallout almost certainly means that this temporary UAE ban will be extended if things do not improve,” said Saj Ahmad, chief analyst, StrategicAero Research.com.

“Further, it hampers the movement of labour between the UAE and India and further limits travellers from India using the UAE to transit to Africa, Europe and the USA,” he added.

4) US: US has issued a travel advisory for its people travelling to and from India. The body has asked citizens to avoid travelling to India. However, it has said that if anyone has to travel to India then he or she must get fully vaccinated.

5) UK: India was added to UK's travel red list on April 23rd, effectively banning travel. UK’s Health Secretary Matt Hancock Hancock said reason for this was the new ‘double-mutant’ strain of virus found in the country dubbed the ‘Indian variant." British and Irish nationals can travel to the UK from India, but they must now isolate in a government-approved hotel.

6) Australia: Prime Minister Scott Morrison said flights from India will be scaled back by 30 per cent. He said India was now a “high risk” country and only those with the most urgent needs would be allowed to travel to and from India.

7) Canada: Canada on Thursday said it was banning all flights from India and Pakistan for 30 days due to the growing wave of COVID-19 cases in that region. The ban took effect on Friday.

8) Hong Kong: On Tuesday last week, Hong Kong suspended all flights from India till May 3. The country has also suspended flights to and from Pakistan and the Philippines and made it mandatory for passengers to have a COVID-negative RTPCR result with them from a test done 72 hours before the journey.

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News Network
October 15,2021

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Bengaluru, Oct 15: Veteran Kannada actor and performer Professor G K Govinda Rao passed away due to age-related illness in Hubballi at 4.45 am on Friday.

Govinda Rao is survived by two daughters.

The 84-year-old acted in several Kannada films including 'Shastri', 'Mithile Sita', 'Grahana' and appeared in lead roles in the Kannada TV serials Maha Parva and Malgudi Days.

G.K.Govinda Rao has participated in several social movements and has openly criticized certain "divisive" political parties and supported Congress party during the 2014 General elections.

He opposed superstitions practiced in society like Made Made Snana and gave lectures to create awareness against prevailing superstitions.

Chief Minister Basavaraj Bommai condoled the death of the actor, saying that with his death, "the country has lost a great thinker".

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News Network
October 22,2021

New Delhi, Oct 22: As India breached the landmark of administering one billion Covid vaccine doses, the experts around the globe are positive about the country’s economic growth, Prime Minister Narendra Modi said on Friday.

“Experts in India and abroad are very positive about India’s economy. Today, not only record investment is coming to Indian companies but new employment opportunities are also being created for the youth...Positive activities are accelerating in every field with increasing coverage of the vaccine,” Modi said during his address to the nation.

Modi noted that the agriculture sector kept India’s economy “firmly in place” during the Covid-19 pandemic.

“Today, food grains are being procured at a record level. The money is going directly into the bank account of the farmers,” he said.

Talking about other sectors of the economy, the Modi said that today, Indian companies aren’t just getting record investments, but employment generation is also taking place.

“Along with record investment in start-ups, record start-up unicorns are also being developed,” he said.

He reiterated his clarion call of 'Vocal For Local' and appealed to people to buy ‘Made in India’ products during the festival season.

“Emphasis should be given to buying made in India products. This will be possible only with the efforts of everyone. We have to put buying things made by Indians, being Vocal For Local, into practice,” he stated.

Modi also urged people to celebrate the upcoming festivals with utmost caution.

“I appeal to all those who have not taken the first dose of Covid-19 vaccine yet should be given utmost priority to getting vaccinated. Those who are vaccinated should encourage others,” he said.

Urging people to keep following Covid protocols, Modi added: “No matter how good the armour is, no matter how modern the armour is, even if armour guarantees complete protection, weapons are not thrown while the battle is on. I request that we have to celebrate our festivals with the utmost care.”

Meanwhile, more than one billion vaccine doses have been administered so far to eligible beneficiaries, as per the Ministry of Health and Family Welfare.

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News Network
October 17,2021

Bengaluru, Oct 17: Karnataka Chief Minister Basavaraj Bommai on Sunday hinted at reducing cess and sales tax on petrol and diesel in the state to ease the fuel prices which have touched an all-time high.

Speaking to the media, Bommai said it all depends on the economy. "I have called an economic review meeting. If the economic situation seems to be good, there is possibility for the consideration," he added.

Earlier, the Chief Minister had rejected any tax deduction on fuel in the state. The petrol price has reached Rs 109.16 per litre and diesel price has touched Rs 100 in Karnataka.

The Opposition Congress has demanded a reduction of taxes on fuel on similar lines of the Tamil Nadu government which has reduced the taxes on petrol by Rs 3 per litre.

The Congress has blamed the ruling Bharatiya Janata Party governments for the hike in fuel prices.

Bommai had defended that during the United Progressive Alliance (UPA) government, fuel prices had increased by 60 per cent between 2004 and 2014 while fuel prices have risen by 30 per cent in seven years of Prime Minister Narendra Modi's government.

Leader of Opposition Siddaramaiah targeted the present BJP government, saying that inflation under its tenure is nothing but criminal loot. 

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