Alarmed over the rising numbers of COVID-19 cases across the country, the Centre has decided to suspend all domestic flights from midnight on March 24.
International flights from airports across the country have already been suspended. Officials said that only cargo flights have been allowed to operate till further orders.
With the shutdown of air services, now all modes of public transport have been placed under suspension in most parts of the country. While Indian Railways has already suspended the operation of trains, metro services have also been shut in all cities.
Earlier, many state governments including Bihar and West Bengal had requested to suspend flights in their respective states.
State governments have already been asked to implement a lockdown in over 80 districts across the country. The move has resulted in the shutting down of major cities such as Delhi, Mumbai, Bengaluru, Pune and others.
The decision was taken at a high-level meeting headed by the cabinet secretary and attended by chief secretaries of all states and the Principal Secretary to the Prime Minister on Sunday.
“In view of the need to contain the spread of COVID 19, it was agreed that there is urgent need to extend the restrictions on the movement of non-essential passenger transport including inter-state transport buses till 31st March 2020,” said the statement issued by the Centre on Sunday.
Indian Railways has said that to ensure essential supplies in various parts of the country, movement of goods trains will continue.