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IndiGo to resume flights from 4 May in phased manner

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New Delhi: IndiGo on Tuesday said it will resume flight services from May 4 in a phased manner by initially flying planes on vital domestic routes and then ramping up gradually.

The airline’s statement comes after Prime Minister Narendra Modi on Tuesday announced that the COVID-19 lockdown has been extended till May 3.

In its press release, Ronojoy Dutta, Chief Executive Officer, IndiGo said, “Complementing the government’s efforts against COVID-19, we will restart flight operations on vital corridors of air traffic from May 4, 2020.”

“We will begin operations for domestic only and then gradually ramp it up further, to commence operations on some international routes as well,” Dutta added.

IndiGo is working closely with the government and the airports to take its aircraft to a “significantly higher level of cleanliness” while ensuring “social distancing”, the CEO said.

Initially, India had imposed a 21-day lockdown from March 25 to April 14 to curb the spread of coronavirus. All domestic and international commercial passenger flights have been suspended during the lockdown period.

India’s largest carrier IndiGo said in its press release on Tuesday, “Initially, starting with a slightly curtailed capacity, the airline will increase the operating capacity over the subsequent months, also reopening selected international flights, depending on the existing international travel guidelines.”

Aviation sector has been hit hard by the coronavirus pandemic. All major airlines, including IndiGo, have taken cost-cutting measures like pay cuts for employees during the last few weeks.

On Tuesday, the Civil Aviation Ministry tweeted, “All domestic and international scheduled airlines operations shall remain suspended till 11.59 pm of 3rd May, 2020.”

After the ministry’s tweet, Civil Aviation Minister Hardeep Singh Puri said there were good reasons for the lockdown to be extended till May 3.

“We can consider lifting restrictions on both domestic and international flights thereafter. I understand the problems being faced by people who need to travel and request them to bear with us,” Puri tweeted.


Also read: Delhi airport is working 24×7, operating 22 cargo flights per day for medical supplies


 

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India

Andhra doctor, suspended for alleging PPE shortage, now beaten by cops for ‘creating nuisance’

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A doctor with a stethoscope (Representative image) | Pixabay


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Bengaluru: A doctor with a government hospital in Andhra Pradesh, who was suspended for questioning the shortage of PPE kits, was admitted to a mental health facility Sunday, a day after he was allegedly manhandled by the police and arrested for creating nuisance in Visakhapatnam.

Dr Sudhakar Rao, a government civil surgeon, was beaten, his hands tied behind his back and dragged by police officers Sunday. During the incident, Sudhakar allegedly verbally abused the Jagan Mohan Reddy government in an inebriated state. Videos of the incident have since been widely shared online.

“The police control room received a call about a person creating nuisance on Beach Road Hospital in Visakhapatnam. The Fourth Town police was rushed there and found that the person was the suspended doctor, Sudhakar.

“When the police tried to control him, he snatched the mobile phone of an officer and threw it away. He is suffering from mental disorder and he was drunk. He was sent for a medical examination,” Vishakapatnam Police Commissioner R.K. Meena told the media Sunday.

Sudhakar was admitted to a mental hospital Sunday after doctors at the King George Hospital in Vishakapatnam said he suffered from anxiety.

“Since the doctor is in anxiety and talking irrelevant things, I have referred him to a mental care hospital in Visakhapatnam,” said Dr Radha Rani, medical superintendent, King George Hospital.

A statement released by the hospital said: “Dr Sudhakar was brought to the KGH casualty ward at 6.30 pm. From the smell, it was found that he was in a drunk condition. Under the influence of alcohol, he did not cooperate with anybody there and kept abusing all. Still, his pulse, BP were checked. Pulse was 98, BP 140/100. Blood samples were sent to forensic lab to ascertain alcohol content in his blood.”


Also read: 6 toilets for 20 houses, inadequate testing: Why Mumbai’s Worli chawls are a Covid hotspot


‘Treatment towards Sudhakar was inhuman’

Sudhakar, who spent more than 10 years at the Narsipatnam Government Hospital in Andhra Pradesh, was suspended from his duties in March after he openly criticised the Reddy government for failing to provide PPE kits and N95 masks to doctors treating Covid-19 patients.

He had alleged that the state government was giving N95 masks and PPE kits meant for doctors to politicians and the police.

A video of Sudhakar criticising the government was also shared widely. In the clip, he can be heard saying: “We are putting our lives at risk here. We are asked to use the same mask for 15 days and a fresh mask will be provided only twice a month.”

Speaking to ThePrint, Dr P. Gangadhar Rao, member of the National COVID Committee of the Indian Medical Association, said the manner in which Sudhakar was manhandled by the police was “inhuman” and “violated” human rights.

“We strongly condemn the way he was taken into custody. He was not carrying a weapon, he was alone, the number of policemen outnumbered him. Why treat him like that? We also saw a video where a policeman beats him with a lathi,” said Dr Gangadhar.

He added that Rao was one of the most experienced anaesthetists the Andhra Pradesh government had.

“Our next step of action is to get Sudhakar to write an unconditional apology for having used filthy language, abusing the chief minister and the government. We will then take our appeal to the CM seeking that he be reinstated,” Gangadhar said.


Also read: Face shields, gowns, masks — the new attire for cabin crew post lockdown


 

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