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Canada bans flights from India, Pakistan for 30 days as Covid-19 cases spike

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Canada bans flights from India, Pakistan for 30 days as Covid-19 cases spike

Canada on Thursday said it is banning all flights from India and Pakistan for 30 days due to the growing wave of Covid-19 cases in that region.

Transport Minister Omar Alghabra said the ban would start late Thursday, speaking hours after India reported a global record of more than 314,000 new infections in the previous 24-hours. Cargo flights from India and Pakistan will continue.

Health Minister Patty Hajdu said half the people who are testing positive for the coronavirus after arriving in Canada by airplane came from India. Flights from India account for about one-fifth of the country’s air traffic.

There’s also a disproportionately higher number of positive cases among those travelling on flights from Pakistan, she said.

“It makes sense to pause travel from that region while our scientists and researchers better understand the variants of interest,” Hajdu said.

There are more than 1 million people who live in Canada who have Indian descent. There are 100,000 Canadians who have Pakistani ancestry.

Canada does not have any direct flights from Brazil where cases are also surging.

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