The UAE has suspended flights between India and the middle-eastern nation from Sunday amid the deadly surge in COVID-19 cases in India. The travel ban will be reviewed after 10 days, Gulf News reported.
Some 300 flights a week were operating between the UAE 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 evaluating the epidemiological situation in the friendly Republic of India," UAE's General Civil Aviation Authority said in a statement carried on state news agency WAM.
UAE's civil aviation body said that people coming from India through other countries must stay in that third destination for at least 14 days. UAE citizens and passengers in private jets are exempted from this.
The move by the Gulf nation to stop flights comes days after Britain imposed its strictest travel curbs on India and after Prime Minister Boris Johnson called off a trip to New Delhi. France has said it will also impose a 10-day quarantine for travellers arriving from India.
The United Arab Emirates (UAE) announced on Wednesday it had given nearly 10 million vaccine doses, equal to one for every resident, after warning that those who remained unvaccinated would face restrictions on their movement.
The UAE has mounted an energetic coronavirus vaccination campaign for its citizens as well as the foreigners who make up the majority of the population. The UAE has now recorded some 5,02,000 cases of coronavirus, the highest number among the Gulf states, and exceeding its much bigger neighbour Saudi Arabia.
Strict rules on masks and social distancing are in force, but otherwise life in the UAE's cities of Dubai and Abu Dhabi is going on much as normal, with restaurants and shops open for business, news agency AFP reported.
Amid concerns about the Covid surge, Canada will ban passenger flights from India and Pakistan from today for 30 days.
India is in the midst of a full-blown COVID-19 crisis, with even big private hospital chains sending SOS tweets for oxygen supply.
More and more people this time are complaining of breathlessness, which needs oxygen support. However, the supply of oxygen has become severely limited due to the sudden jump in demand across cities and towns.
People have gone to social media to coordinate help, while state governments and the centre are also working to arrange oxygen faster with the help of the private sector.
(With inputs from AFP and PTI)