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Canada bans flights from Pakistan, India

Ban imposed for 30 days

SAMAA | - Posted: Apr 23, 2021 | Last Updated: 9 months ago
Posted: Apr 23, 2021 | Last Updated: 9 months ago

A passenger from Air India flight 187 from New Delhi arrives at Pearson Airport in Toronto on Wednesday April 21, 2021. Photo: CANADIAN PRESS

Canada has temporarily banned flights from India and Pakistan for 30 days to curb the spread of the coronavirus.

The ban won’t be imposed on cargo flights.

Health, immigration, transport, public safety, and intergovernmental affairs ministers announced the update during a press conference on Thursday.

“Given the higher number of cases of Covid-19 detected in air passengers arriving in Canada from India and Pakistan, Transport Canada is issuing a notice to airmen, or NOTAM, to halt direct passenger air traffic from those countries,” said Transport Minister Omar Alghabra.

He remarked that Canadians should avoid falling into the trap of blaming an identifiable group for causing Covid-19. “We’ve seen this with Asian Canadians, we must reject scapegoating. This virus is not Chinese, nor is it Indian, it affects us all.”

Health Minister Patty Hajdu remarked, “our hearts are with the citizens of India, Pakistan, indeed the whole region during these incredibly difficult times.”

India is battling a record-breaking rise in Covid-19 infections that has overwhelmed hospitals and led to severe bed and oxygen shortages. It recorded over 300,000 cases for the second consecutive day on Friday—the highest tally of new Covid-19 cases in the world.

Pakistan has, on the other hand, reported over 5,000 new cases in the last 24 hours. The Pakistani government is expected to announce strict measures for the control of the virus today.

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