After Oman, Canada Suspends Passenger Flights From Pakistan & India Over COVID-19 Fears

Canada Suspend Flights Pakistan India COVID-19

Canada’s government said it would temporarily suspend passenger flights from India and Pakistan for 30 days starting on Thursday due to COVID-19. The decision is taken as part of stricter measures to combat the spread of the coronavirus.

Prime Minister Justin Trudeau acted after politicians complained Ottawa had not done enough to combat new infections in Canada. The ban, which takes effect at 11.30 p.m. (0330 GMT Friday), does not affect cargo flights.

covid-19 canada
Image: Reuters

India on Thursday recorded the world’s highest daily tally of 314,835 COVID-19 infections, therefore, Canada now suspends flights from India and Pakistan both.

Canadian Health Minister Patty Hajdu said Indian citizens accounted for 20% of all international arrivals. They represented over 50% of the positive tests conducted by Canadian airport officials.

“By eliminating travel from these countries, public health experts will have the time to evaluate the epidemiology of that region. They will reassess the situation,” she told a news conference.

The conservative premiers of Ontario and Quebec wrote to Trudeau on Thursday urging him to crack down on international travel.

Transport Minister Omar Alghabra said Canada would not hesitate to ban flights from other nations if needed.

Travel bans for Asian countries

Britain said earlier that India would be added to its “red-list” of locations. Travel from this list is banned due to a high number of COVID-19 cases. Pakistan, Bangladesh, Kenya, and the Philippines are already on that list.

In addition, France is imposing a 10-day quarantine for travelers from Brazil, Chile, Argentina, South Africa, and India. Meanwhile, the United Arab Emirates has suspended all flights from India. Moreover, Oman also said it would suspend travel from India, Pakistan, and Bangladesh. 

India reported the world’s highest daily tally of cases for a second day on Friday. It surpassed 330,000 new cases, as it struggles with a struggling health system. Pakistan also started its COVID-19 vaccination drives earlier this year. However, it reported 144 more deaths due to coronavirus in the last twenty-four hours.

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