The Maharashtra government is considering halting flight operations and train services between cities, including Mumbai, in the state and Delhi owing to a sharp rise in Covid-19 cases in the national capital. Maharashtra chief secretary Sanjay Kumar said a final decision was yet to be taken on implementing the curbs. “We have been reviewing the situation. In the wake of surge in Covid-19 cases in Delhi, we need to take precautionary measures to ensure that Maharashtra is not affected. There are limited trains and flights operating between Delhi and Mumbai and other cities in Maharashtra. The decision to either curtail them further or stop them entirely will be taken in due course,” said Kumar.

The issue was discussed at a recent review meeting, convened by Kumar, and the state government, according to officials, is also deliberating measures to ensure the infection does not spread through people entering Maharashtra from other cities and states that have high cases.

Maharashtra government officials, however, said implementing a completing ban on flights and trains between Mumbai and Delhi will be difficult. “Central government will not concede to our proposal of entirely banning flights between Mumbai and Delhi, which is the busiest route in India. Even in May, when we had tried to push the resumption of flight services [between the two cities] by a few weeks, the Centre was firm on starting it immediately. In such a scenario, we will have to go for stricter screening of passengers at airports if we are not allowed to completely stop operations,” said a state government official, on condition of anonymity.