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
April 24,2021

travel.jpg

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
April 23,2021

Mangaluru, Apr 23: Police Commissioner N Shashi Kumar today led a team of police to force a few establishments including jewellery shops in the city to roll their shutters dwon in accordance with the fresh covid guidelines issued by the Karnataka government. 

The revised guidelines from Chief Secretary P Ravikumar has ordered the closure of shops, commercial and private establishments other than those dealing with essential services.

As a part of crackdown on the traders and force the shutting of shops other than that of essential services, City Police Commissioner carried out a drive in Clock Tower, Hampankatta, Ambedkar Circle, Falnir and Kankanady areas on Friday.

Speaking on the occasion, the City Police Commissioner said that cases will be booked against those who violated the guidelines. “People and business establishment owners should behave responsibly. It is a natural tendency for the people to visit and buy when jewellery shops are open. Already appeal and advises were given to the traders. When they fail to adhere to the guidelines, the police have no option other than to book cases against them.”

The Commissioner also handed over roses to a few people who were found strictly adhering to the guidelines on various streets in the city.

The commissioner had even boarded a few city buses to ensure that the guidelines of wearing masks are strictly followed by the passengers, conductors and drivers.

Several shops dealing in electronic goods, mobile and mobile accessories, ready-made garments, jewellery were closed down by the police and Mangaluru City Corporation teams across Mangaluru.

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News Network
May 3,2021

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Kollam, May 3: Kerala Congress (B) chairman and former minister R Balakrishna Pillai passed away at a private hospital in his hometown Kottarakkara on Monday morning due to age-related ailments, his family said.

He was 86.

Born in a wealthy family in Kottarakkara, Pillai entered politics during his student days. He was a member of the Students Federation before joining the Congress.

He was a member of the AICC from 1958 to 1964.

Having been elected to the Assembly in 1960 from the Pathanapuram seat at the age of 25, Pillai quit the Congress in 1964 and formed the Kerala Congress along with senior leader K M George.

Pillai was the founder general secretary of the Kerala Congress.
He won the election from his home constituency Kottarakara in 1965, but was defeated in the next two polls in 1967 and 1970.

Pillai was elected to the Lok Sabha in 1971 from the Mavelikara constituency.

He was a minister for several years in various ministries headed by C Achutha Menon, K Karunakaran, E K Nayanar and A K Antony.

Pillai's over six-decade-long political career saw many ups and downs.

He had to resign from the ministry for his speech in the 1980s in which he had called for an agitation on the lines of the militancy in Punjab against the central government for ignoring Kerala's development needs.

He was the first minister in Kerala who was sentenced to jail for corruption.

The Supreme Court had in February 2011 sentenced Pillai and two others to one-year imprisonment for allegedly abusing their positions in the award of a contract for the Idamalayar hydroelectric power project during his tenure as power minister from 1982-1985 in the K Karunakaran ministry.

From 2017 onwards, he had been serving as the chairman of the Kerala State Welfare Corporation for Forward Communities, with cabinet rank.

Pillai is survived by his three children.

His son Ganesh Kumar, who is also a former minister, was re-elected to the Kerala Assembly as an LDF candidate from his family bastion Pathanapuram.

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