Pakistan bans passengers from India over spread of new coronavirus variant


ISLAMABAD – Pakistan on Monday imposed a ban on travellers coming from India through air and land routes for the two weeks due to rising cases of new variant of COVID-19 in the neighbouring country.

A statement issued by the National Command and Operation Centre (NCOC) said the decision was taken during a meeting, chaired by Federal Minister for Planning and Development Asad Umar.

The decision was taken after the forum was briefed about the spread of new variant in India.

“The forum decided to place India in the list of Category C countries for two weeks. There will be a ban on inbound passengers coming from India via air and land route,” the statement said.

The NCOC will take a review of countries placed in Category C on April 21, said the official statement.

India has reported a record surge in coronavirus infections of 273,810, forcing the government to impose curfew in capital New Delhi starting Monday night as hospitals are running out of beds and oxygen supplies. Total number of cases in India has crossed 15 million mark.

According to health officials, the country recorded 1,619 deaths during the last 24 hours, taking toll to 178,769.

India has the fourth highest number of deaths after the United States, Brazil and Mexico.

Boris Johnson Cancels Trip to India

British Prime Minister Boris Johnson on Monday cancelled his official tour to India, scheduled for next week, due to deteriorating coronavirus situation in the host country.

The South Asian country is currently in the grip of the second wave of the pandemic as it has witnessed surge in COVID-19 cases.

“In the light of the current coronavirus situation, Prime Minister Boris Johnson will not be able to travel to India next week,” a joint statement from the British and Indian government, issued by Johnson’s office, said.

“Instead, Prime Ministers Modi and Johnson will speak later this month to agree and launch their ambitious plans for the future partnership between the UK and India.”

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