New Delhi: Canada postponed all passenger flights of the two countries for the next 30 days amid the alarming increase in COVID-19 cases in India and Pakistan. The announcement was made by Canadian Transport Minister Omar Algabhra, who cited high rates of infection among passengers as the reason for the temporary ban. The ban will come into effect from Friday.
Algabhra assured that this is a temporary measure and that the country will determine appropriate measures for the future once it reaches the state of the epidemic. He clarified that the suspension would not apply to cargo flights to ensure continued shipments of vaccines, personal protective equipment and other essential goods.
Canadian Health Minister Patty Hazdu said that only 1.8% of travelers coming from India have tested positive for the corona virus overall. India recently accounted for 20% of Canada’s air travel, but more than half of all positive tests reported on the country’s border were of Indian passengers. He said that a significant amount of cases are also related to Pakistan.
Canada is the latest country to have suspended flights due to a new dual variant spread across the country. Recently, the United Arab Emirates announced that it would suspend all flights from India. Earlier this week Britain also banned the entry of passengers from India. Emirates Airlines postponed its flights between Dubai and India for 10 days starting 25 April.
In addition, France has announced that incoming passengers will be subjected to a 10-day quarantine upon arrival. Other countries that have temporarily suspended flights connecting India include Hong Kong, Pakistan and New Zealand. Meanwhile, the United States has issued an advisory to its citizens, stating that even if they have been vaccinated against COVID-19, avoid traveling to India.