Covid-19: Netherlands suspends flights from India till May 1
The Netherlands has said it is suspending all passenger flights arriving from India starting Monday amid a surge in coronavirus infections in the country.
"A flight ban will take effect for passenger flights from India at 6 p.m. on Monday, April 26... The flight ban will be in place until at least 00:01 a.m. on May 1," Sputnik quoted Dutch Aviation Ministry's statement.
India is witnessing a deadly Covid-19 wave, with the country reporting over three lakh daily cases from the last few days. The country on Sunday reported 3,49,391 new Covid-19 cases and 2,767 deaths According to the union health ministry, five states -- Maharashtra, Uttar Pradesh, Karnataka, Gujarat and Kerala -- contribute 54 per cent of the cases.
The flight ban was announced on Sunday night after the Cabinet received new advice from public health agency RIVM, NL Times reported citing Infrastructure Minister Cora van Nieuwenhuizen in a letter to Parliament.
"The epidemiological situation on the ground is very serious," she wrote. The minister noted that there are several variants of the coronavirus there, and there are many uncertainties about their "infectivity, pathogenic capability, and possible reduced protection of antibodies after vaccination or a previous infection".
The flight ban is set to expire on May 1, unless the Cabinet decides to extend it during meetings next week. Cargo flights and flights with medical personnel will be exempted from the ban.
With the Covid-19 situation worsening, many countries have imposed travel restrictions on travellers from India.
France had on Wednesday imposed a 10-day quarantine for travellers arriving from India in the coming days to prevent the spread of a Covid-19 variant found in India.
Recently, the United Kingdom added India to its travel "red list" on a precautionary basis after reporting 103 cases of a coronavirus variant first identified in India.
The Russian Embassy's visa section temporarily ceased its operations until further notice due to India's Covid-19 situation, it announced on Monday.
As Covid-19 cases soar, the United States has also issued a 'Level 4 (Very High)' warning for potential travellers to India asking them to "avoid all travel" to the country even if they are fully vaccinated.
Hong Kong had on Tuesday announced the suspension of all flights connecting with India for 14 days amid the rising number of Covid-19 cases in the region. The authorities have also suspended flights from Pakistan and the Philippines.
Canada has also temporarily banned passenger flights from India for 30 days from Thursday amid rising coronavirus cases in the two countries.