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Coronavirus: No foreign flights in India for a week, work-from-home for private sector

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New Delhi, Mar 19: The government banned on Thursday all international flight would be allowed to land in the country from March 22 to 29 and instructed states to enforce work-from-home protocol for all private sector employees, except essential services, in an effort to contain coronavirus.

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India's decision to stop international flights and isolate itself from overseas visitors follows similar decision taken by governments in Australia and New Zealand to stop the spread of the novel Coronavirus.

The government had earlier already banned flights from several high-risk nations, including from the European Union, till March 31.

Covid-19, which has infected over 2 lakh people across the globe and led to deaths of over 9,000, has been declared a pandemic by the WHO.

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The decision to ban all flights was announced soon after the health ministry reported that a patient died of the virus in Punjab on Thursday, making it the fourth death in the country. The total number of cases reported so far is 173.

According to sources, the total flight ban was suggested to the government by the Indian Council of Medical Research.

Among the other containment measures announced by the government is an advisory to all citizens above 65 and children below 10 years of age to remain at home.

The central government has also instituted a work from home policy for its employees. According to an order issued by the Union Ministry of Personnel, Public Grievances and Pensions on Thursday, heads of department (HoDs) have been asked to ensure that 50% of Group B and C employees are required to attend office every day, and the remaining 50% staff should be instructed to work from home.

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