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World Canada to suspend passenger flights from India, Pakistan over COVID-19 fears

01:30  23 april  2021
01:30  23 april  2021 Source:   reuters.com

Pakistan Islamists clash with police over French cartoons depicting Prophet Mohammad

  Pakistan Islamists clash with police over French cartoons depicting Prophet Mohammad Pakistan Islamists clash with police over French cartoons depicting Prophet MohammadISLAMABAD (Reuters) - Thousands of Islamists blocked highways and rail tracks and clashed with police in different parts of Pakistan in protest against the arrest of their leader ahead of rallies denouncing French cartoons depicting the Prophet Mohammad, officials said.

By David Ljunggren and Allison Lampert

diagram: FILE PHOTO: Coronavirus disease (COVID-19) test become mandatory upon arrival in Toronto © Reuters/Carlos Osorio FILE PHOTO: Coronavirus disease (COVID-19) test become mandatory upon arrival in Toronto

OTTAWA (Reuters) - Canada's government said it would temporarily bar passenger flights from India and Pakistan for 30 days starting on Thursday as part of stricter measures to combat the spread of the coronavirus.

Treating coronavirus disease (COVID-19) patients at an intensive care unit in Toronto © Reuters/CARLOS OSORIO Treating coronavirus disease (COVID-19) patients at an intensive care unit in Toronto

The center-left Liberal government of Prime Minister Justin Trudeau acted after prominent right-leaning politicians complained Ottawa had not done enough to combat a third wave of infections ripping through Canada.

India Faces a Health Crisis As COVID-19 Cases Soar

  India Faces a Health Crisis As COVID-19 Cases Soar Government and public complacency have turned India into a global epicenter of rising COVID-19 cases.But now India is recording more new infections than any other country, raising questions about whether it was resting on its laurels too soon.

The ban, which takes effect at 11.30 p.m. (0330 GMT Friday), does not affect cargo flights.

India on Thursday recorded the world's highest daily tally of 314,835 COVID-19 infections amid fears about the ability of crumbling health services to cope.

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

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

The conservative premiers of Ontario and Quebec - the most populous of Canada's 10 provinces - wrote to Trudeau earlier on Thursday urging him to crack down on international travel.

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

Britain said earlier that India would be added to its "red-list" of locations from which most travel is banned due to a high number of COVID-19 cases.

In addition, France is imposing a 10-day quarantine for travelers from Brazil, Chile, Argentina, South Africa and India, while the United Arab Emirates has suspended all flights from India.

(Reporting by David Ljunggren and Allison Lampert; Additional reporting by Kanishka Singh in Bengaluru; Editing by Bill Berkrot and Peter Cooney)

The UK's 'red list' now bars travel from India to contain the spread of COVID-19 variants. Here's what it means, which countries are on the list and how it works. .
India joins 39 other countries on the UK's 'red list' from which only returning residents and citizens can travel - and only after strict hotel quarantine.The red list could be compared to "Level Four: Do Not Travel" advisory issued by the US State Department, which now covers most countries in the world because of the coronavirus.

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