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Hong Kong Bans Flights from India, Pakistan and Philippines for 2 Weeks Amid Covid Scare

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Hong Kong has suspended international flights from India as coronavirus cases rise at an unprecedented pace. The ban will be effective from April 20 till May 2. The decision to suspend flights from India was taken after 50 passengers on two Vistara flights tested positive for coronavirus upon arrival. The Asian business powerhouse country has also banned flights from Pakistan and the Philippines.

As per the rules, all passengers arriving in the country will have to produce a COVID-negative RT PCR result report, which should be conducted within 72 hours of arrival. To contain the virus spread, Hong Kong authorities have also announced the suspension of all Vistara flights on the Mumbai-Hong Kong routes till May 2, PTI reported, citing aviation ministry sources.

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On the Delhi-Hong Kong route of Vistara airline, as many as 47 passengers have tested positive for COVID-19 in Hong Kong so far. Vistara’s flights on the Delhi-Hong Kong route had earlier been banned from April 6 to April 19.

Neither Vistara nor the aviation ministry has come up with any official statements in this regard.

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Meanwhile, given the deteriorating coronavirus situation in India, the aviation ministry has ordered that airlines will not serve meals on flights that have a duration of fewer than two hours. There are no curbs on in-flight meals on international and domestic flights longer than two hours, but the meal servicing will be staggered among adjoining seats, the order added.

The ministry had permitted the airlines to serve in-flight meals under certain conditions when scheduled domestic flights were resumed on May 25 following the COVID-19 lockdown last year. The ministry modified the order last week, saying the airlines “may provide meal services on board, where the in-flight duration is two hours or more.”

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India reported its highest-ever single-day spike of 261,500 coronavirus cases and 1,501 deaths on Saturday, the latest health ministry data said. The country had 18,01,316 active cases as of 9 am on Sunday.

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