The Authorities of Canada has introduced that it’ll ban passenger flights from India and Pakistan for the following 30 days.
Federal officers revealed the brand new measure on April 22, with the ban taking impact as of 11:30 pm EST tonight.
“We’ve been saying for over a yr, now just isn’t the time to journey,” stated Omar Alghabra, Minister of Transport.
“Border restrictions can change at any time, and you may be caught out of the country.”
All direct business and personal passenger flights from India and Pakistan can be included within the ban, though cargo flights will nonetheless be permitted.
As properly, passengers flying to Canada from India and Pakistan by way of an oblique route can be required to have a adverse COVID-19 check taken at their final level of departure.
Well being Minister Patty Hajdu stated that though India solely accounts for 20% of latest air journey volumes to Canada, over 50% of all constructive exams performed on the border are from the South Asian nation.
A equally excessive degree of constructive circumstances to journey charges has been linked to Pakistan, she stated.
“We should keep away from the chance of falling into the lure of blaming an identifiable group for inflicting COVID. We’ve seen this with Asian Canadians,” Alghabra stated.
“We should reject scapegoating any group. This virus just isn’t Chinese language, neither is it Indian. It impacts us all.”
On Wednesday, public well being officers stated they’d begun assessing the COVID-19 state of affairs in India, as circumstances surged and a “variant of curiosity” took maintain.
“They’ve a really huge resurgence in that nation,” stated Dr. Theresa Tam, Canada’s chief medical officer of well being.
A “double mutant” pressure of COVID-19 emerged in India in late March, which comprises mutations present in two present variant strains.
There’s hypothesis that the double mutant is what has fuelled the virus’ latest resurgence in India.
In keeping with the World Well being Group, India noticed greater than 500,000 new COVID-19 circumstances throughout the week of April 12, whereas Pakistan noticed 34,190.
India has reported practically 16 million virus circumstances because the pandemic started – second solely behind the US for the nation with essentially the most circumstances worldwide.
A number of different international locations, together with the UK and Hong Kong, have already quickly banned flights from India and Pakistan. Hong Kong has stopped flights from the Philippines, too.
To this point, Canada has seen 1,147,463 COVID-19 circumstances and 23,763 virus-related deaths.
With information from Megan Devlin.