Following the outbreaks of COVID-19 in India and Pakistan, Canada has imposed a 30-day travel ban on passenger flights from the two countries.

In a virtual press conference, Canadian Transport Minister Omar Alghabra said that due to an increase in the number of travellers from India and Pakistan arriving in Canada with COVID-19, all commercial and private passenger flights from those countries would be prohibited as of 11:30 p.m. Thursday night.

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Cargo flights will be allowed to continue shipments of vital materials such as vaccinations and personal protective equipment, he added.

Alghabra stated that air passengers departing from India or Pakistan but arriving in Canada from a third party must produce a negative result on a COVID-19 examination administered at their last point of departure before being able to enter Canada.

Although just 1.8% of all air travellers entering Canada are found to be COVID-19-positive, a growing number of passengers on flights arriving from India and Pakistan have tested positive in recent days, according to Health Minister Patty Hajdu.

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With over 314,000 new infections recorded today, India has recently become a global hotspot for the coronavirus. A new COVID-19 version, B1617, has been discovered there, and experts believe it is to blame for the huge outbreak that is ravaging the world and straining its hospital system.