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Airlines May Soon Be Permitted To Operate 75% Of Pre-Covid Domestic Flights: Aviation Minister

“Our internal thinking is that we will watch it for another week or 10 days….If the figures (of passengers travelling) continue to be healthy, we would open domestic civil aviation to 75 per cent of the pre-COVID levels,” Hardeep Singh Puri said at a press conference today.

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Hardeep Puri

New Delhi: Airlines may be permitted to operate maximum 75 per cent of their pre-COVID scheduled domestic flights if the passenger numbers continue to remain healthy during the next 7-10 days, Civil Aviation Minister Hardeep Singh Puri said today.

The government on September 2 had said Indian airlines can operate up to 60 per cent of their pre-COVID services within the country.

On June 26, the Ministry of Civil Aviation had allowed the airlines to operate a maximum of 45 per cent of their pre-COVID domestic flights.

The ministry had restarted domestic passenger services from May 25, after a gap of two months due to the coronavirus-triggered lockdown. However, the airlines were allowed to operate not more than 33 per cent of their pre-COVID domestic flights at that time.

“Our internal thinking is that we will watch it for another week or 10 days….If the figures (of passengers travelling) continue to be healthy, we would open domestic civil aviation to 75 per cent of the pre-COVID levels,” Mr Puri said at a press conference today.

Scheduled international passenger flights continue to remain suspended in the country since March 23 due to the pandemic.

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However, special international flights have been operating under the Vande Bharat Mission since May and under bilateral air bubble pacts signed with various countries since July.

Cities

Delhi Police organise job fair under YUVA scheme

Delhi Police have tied up with the National Skill Development Corporation (NSDC) for imparting job-linked skill training to the selected youth.

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New Delhi: To ensure that the youth earn their livelihood by good means and refrain from wrongdoings, approximately 125 job aspirants were interviewed by 19 employers in a job fair organised under the YUVA scheme by the Delhi Police at the Surajmal Institute in Janakpuri.

“YUVA is an initiate of Delhi Police to rehabilitate the youth and to bring them on good path,” West Delhi DCP Deepak Purohit said.

The initiative by Delhi Police aims to connect with the youth by upgrading their skills as per their competencies. It will help them get gainful employment under the Pradhan Mantri Kaushal Vikas Yojna of the Ministry of Skill Development.

Delhi Police have tied up with the National Skill Development Corporation (NSDC) for imparting job-linked skill training to the selected youth.

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Cities

Karnataka Legislative Council polls: EC defers counting from Nov 3 to 10

There are 2.35 lakh voters in these four constituencies who exercised their franchise in as many 549 polling stations set up across these constituencies.

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BJP and Congress Flag Poster

Bengaluru: The Election Commission of India (ECI) on Saturday announced that it had decided to postpone the counting of votes for four Legislative Council seats in Karnataka from November 2 to 10.

The decision was taken following a memorandum submitted by the Karnataka Pradesh Congress Committee on Saturday, appealing that any outcome of Legislative Council polls will have a direct impact on Assembly by-polls to Rajarajeshwari Nagara constituency in Bengaluru and Sira in Tumkuru district which are going to polls on November 3.

The biennial polls to four Legislative council (two graduates and two teachers) seats were held on October 28 amid pandemic fears. Wherein of the total 2.35 lakh voters, nearly 70 per cent electorates had turned up defying pandemic fears.

Conceding to the Congress party’s demand, EC said in its statement that the counting of Council polls can be held after any day after November 3 but it has now decided to hold counting of these Council seats along with counting of two Assembly seats – Sira and RR Nagar – on November 10.

It may be worth noting here that the Council polls took place as these constituencies fell vacant due to the retirement of R. Chowda Reddy Thoopalli of JD(S), S. V. Sankanur of BJP, Sharanappa Mattur of Congress and Puttanna of JD(S) respectively. Of these four recontesting candidates, Puttanna has crossed over to BJP and is contesting on this party ticket.

Despite pandemic, voters’ response was overwhelming in 2020 when compared with 2014 elections held in these seats. Voting percentage rose anywhere between 13.5 per cent to 24 per cent in the constituencies.

As many as 40 candidates’ fates are sealed in ballot units who are in fray from these constituencies. Among them are the four whose retirement on June 30 warranted the elections.

There are 2.35 lakh voters in these four constituencies who exercised their franchise in as many 549 polling stations set up across these constituencies.

In the council with strength of 75 members Congress has 28 members, BJP has 27 members, Janata Dal (Secular) has 14 members, one independent, one chairman and four vacant seats.

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Disaster

Delhi again records over 5,000 new Covid-19 cases, 34,186 cases added in last 7 days

There are 3,274 containment zones in the Capital and over 20,000 people are under home isolation at present.

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Coronavirus India

Delhi recorded 5,062 new Covid-19 cases on Saturday, which is a slight dip from the number of new cases being reported from Wednesday, but the higher positivity rate in the city indicates that the Capital is experiencing a new wave of Covid-19 infections.

On Friday, Delhi reported 5,891 new cases — the highest single-day number of all time. The government health bulletin revealed that 41 deaths have been reported in the last 24 hours. Over 44,000 people have been tested in the same period of time.

There are 3,274 containment zones in the Capital and over 20,000 people are under home isolation at present.

The sudden spike in the number of daily cases after a period when Delhi was believed to have tackled Covid-19 effectively has become a cause of worry. The Centre has called for a meeting on Monday to discuss the issue.

The spike began on Wednesday when Delhi crossed the 5,000-mark for the first time with 5,673 new cases in a span of 24 hours. On Thursday, Delhi recoded 5,739 cases and on Friday, the number stood at 5,891. On Tuesday, Delhi had logged 4,853 cases, which was its highest single-day tally since 4,473 on September 16. Though Saturday’s number is lower than the previous three days, the positivity rate is high — at least 11 per cent of all tests in the past 24 hours returned positive results.

The number of total cases in the Capital stands at 3,86,706. Out of this, 34,185 cases have been added in last one week.

Here is a date-wise data of new cases reported in Delhi during the past one week

October 25: 4,136

October 26: 2,832

October 27: 4,853

October 28: 5,673

October 29: 5,739

October 30: 5,891

October 31: 5,062

Why cases are rising in Delhi

Delhi health minister Satyendar Jain has blamed pollution, the onset of winter and the rising pollution for the sudden rise in the number of cases. “It’s a combined effect of the festive season, decrease in temperature and increased pollution. Experts had also suggested that at this time Covid-19 cases could rise,” Jain said on Saturday.

Third Covid-19 wave in Delhi?

Jain had earlier said that it can be concluded whether Delhi has entered the third wave of Covid-19 cases after examining the numbers of a week. But he had hinted that the possibility could not be overruled. The peak of the second wave in Delhi was during mid-September when it reported 4,174 average cases every day. The current trajectory is far above that.

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