Canada has suspended all passenger flights from India and Pakistan on April 22 for 30 days as COVID-19 cases in those countries continue to rise.
In a joint press conference, Transport Minister Omar Alghabra announced a temporary ban on commercial and private passenger flights from India and Pakistan, citing an increase of COVID-19 cases detected in travelers from that region.
Also, passengers who depart India and Pakistan through an indirect route will be required to show a negative COVID-19 test result at their last point of departure before continuing their trip to Canada. They will also be required to take another test and to quarantine at a government-designated hotel upon their arrival.
“These measures will help manage the elevated risk of imported cases of COVID-19 and variants of concern into Canada during a time of increasing pressure on our health care system,” the government said in a statement.
Alghabra also said that the government will not hesitate to suspend flights from other countries as more data emerges.
The measure will go into effect at 11:30 p.m. on April 22 and will not apply to cargo flights, medical transfers, and military flights, according to a statement from the government.
Alghabra also warned not to fall 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,” Alghabra said.
On April 22, India recorded 314,000 cases in a day, the highest daily tally in the world. Its total number of cases has reached over 15.9 million while Pakistan has recorded over 778,000 cases, according to data from Johns Hopkins University (JHU).
Data from JHU also showed that Canada has recorded over 1.16 million cases.