OTTAWA (Monitoring Desk) Transportation Minister if Canada, Omar Alghabra declared a 30-day suspension of all passenger flights from India and Pakistan, claiming a rise in COVID-19 cases found in travelers arriving from these countries.
“Due to the higher number of cases of COVID-19 cases found in air passengers arriving in Canada from India and Pakistan… I am stopping all private and commercial passenger flights landing in Canada from India and Pakistan for thirty days,” Alghabra said at a press conference. “This is a stopgap measure as we analyse the emerging situation and evaluate necessary next steps,” he said.
The ban will come into effect at 11:30 p.m. Eastern Time on Thursday (0330 GMT Friday). It would not apply to cargo flights, according to Alghabra, who stressed the importance of continuing to ship vaccines, personal protective equipment, and other important products.
On Thursday, India announced a single-day maximum of more than 300,000 new infections of COVID-19, which is being blamed on a “double mutant” variant and super-spreader incidents. Just 1.8 percent of visitors to Canada have tested positive for coronavirus, according to Health Minister Patty Hajdu.
Despite the fact that India accounts for 20% of recent air travel to Canada, more than half of all positive boundary checks were from flights entering from the region, “A relatively large number of cases have also been linked to Pakistan,” she said.