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United Arab Emirates places India on the travel ban list, as country records record increase in COVID-19 cases

DUBAI: The United Arab Emirates announced on Thursday that it had put India on its travel ban list as the country faces a record number of coronavirus cases.

About 300 weekly flights operated between the United Arab Emirates and India before the ban was announced, according to local media, making the air corridor one of the busiest in the world.

“The decision to suspend flights came after studying and assessing the epidemiological situation in the friendly Republic of India,” said the General Civil Aviation Authority in a statement released by the state news agency WAM.

The GCAA said that anyone coming from India to other countries must stay in that third destination for at least 14 days.

UAE citizens and passengers on private jets are exempt from this requirement.

Cargo flights between the two countries will continue after the ban, which comes into force on April 25, for a period of 10 “extendable” days.

“This comes in response to the proactive preventive and preventive health measures issued by all authorities interested in the country to limit the spread” of the pandemic, said officials quoted by WAM.

The United Arab Emirates are home to around 3.3 million Indians who make up a third of the population – most of them in Dubai, one of the seven emirates that make up the federation.

India announced on Thursday that almost 315,000 new cases of coronavirus have been reported in the past 24 hours, the highest daily number of victims in the world.

New Delhi sent warnings that patients could die if the oxygen supply in hospitals was not replenished.

The country’s long-underfunded health system is being pushed to the limit by a second devastating wave of the pandemic attributed to a “mutant double” variant and “super-disseminating” mass meetings.

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