Air India flight
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New Delhi: The coronavirus-induced suspension of scheduled international passenger flights has been extended till August 31, aviation regulator DGCA said on Friday.

“However, international scheduled flights may be allowed on selected routes by the competent authority on a case-to-case basis,” the Directorate General of Civil Aviation added.

Scheduled international passenger services have been suspended in India since March 23, 2020, due to the coronavirus pandemic. But special international flights have been operating under the Vande Bharat Mission since May 2020 and under bilateral “air bubble” arrangements with selected countries since July 2020.

India has formed air bubble pacts with around 24 countries including the US, the UK, the UAE, Kenya, Bhutan and France. Under an air bubble pact between two countries, special international flights can be operated by their airlines between their territories.

The DGCA circular also said that the suspension does not affect the operation of international all-cargo operations and flights specifically approved by it.

44,230 fresh cases, 555 more deaths

With a single-day rise of 44,230 cases, India's COVID-19 tally climbed to 3,15,72,344 on Friday, while the death toll due to the viral disease shot up to 4,23,217 with 555 more people succumbing to it, the Union health ministry said.

The number of active coronavirus cases in the country registered an increase for the third consecutive day, according to the ministry's data updated at 8 am.

The number of active cases has gone up to 4,05,155, accounting for 1.28 per cent of the total caseload, while the national COVID-19 recovery rate was recorded at 97.38 per cent, the data showed.

An increase of 1,315 cases was recorded in the active COVID-19 tally in a span of 24 hours.

Also, 18,16,277 tests to detect the infection were carried out on Thursday, taking the total number of such tests conducted so far in the country to 46,46,50,723, while the daily positivity rate was recorded at 2.44 per cent. The weekly positivity rate was recorded at 2.43 per cent, according to the ministry.