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Countries suspend reciprocal flights with India over fear of new COVID-19 variant

Iran and Kuwait announced the suspension of all commercial flights from and to India over an increase in COVID-19 cases and the detection of a new COVID-19 variant in the Asian country.

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Countries like Iran and Kuwait consecutively banned all commercial flights to and from India to avoid a new variant of COVID-19 which was detected in the country.

Speaking at the anti-COVID-19 taskforce meeting in Tehran, Iranian President Hassan Rouhani named the new variant as an Indian virus and highlighted the danger of this new variant. In order to struggle with this new type of COVID-19 virus and to prevent this virus from entering the country, serious monitoring and care are needed, Rouhani said.

Warning on the issue that the virus has undergone a “very dangerous mutation” in India, Iranian Health Minister Saeed Namaki drew attention to measures that should be taken to prevent this virus, as well. In this sense, he underlined the importance of shutting down air traffic between Iran and India.

Upon these statements, Iran’s civil aviation authority announced that all flights to and from India and Pakistan are suspended until further notice.

Currently, Iran has been hit hard by a fourth wave of the virus. It was reported that COVID-19 related infections and deaths reached a record high in Iran.

Another country that suspended commercial flights to and from India is Kuwait. The Kuwaiti Cabinet issued a statement announcing that all direct flights to and from India were halted until further notice.

Besides, the Kuwaiti Directorate General of Civil Aviation posted a message on Twitter, saying, “All passengers arriving from the Republic of India are not allowed to enter the country, either arriving directly or via another country unless they have resided outside the Republic of India at least fourteen days prior their arrival to the state of Kuwait.”

Considering the latest statistics, it is seen that Kuwait is also going through a new wave of pandemic. The Gulf country registered a record high in its COVID-19 cases last week.

The countries that have stopped flights with India are not limited to Iran and Kuwait. Similar steps have also been taken previously by the UAE, the UK, Canada, and Hong Kong.

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