Saudi Arabia suspends flights from India due to rising Covid cases

Covid-19: Saudi Arabia to lift ban on Mecca pilgrimage amid virus

Saudi Arabia has banned all flights to and from India, Brazil and Argentina.

In a tweet on Wednesday night, Air India Express clarified it would not carry passengers from India to Saudi Arabia.

However, the official notice excludes the "passengers who have official government invitations".

Last week, the Dubai civil aviation authority (DCAA) had suspended Air India Express for 24 hours for carrying two Covid positive passengers.

Saudi Arabia announced on Tuesday that it will allow citizens and residents residing inside the kingdom to perform the Umrah, an Islamic pilgrimage to Mecca and Medina undertaken any time of the year, starting on 4 October.

Covid-19: Saudi Arabia to lift ban on Mecca pilgrimage amid virus

According to the Johns Hopkins Unversity, there are 330,798 COVID-19 cases in the country. Given Saudi Arabia and the UAE has a huge number of Indian migrants, this comes as a big decision.

India and Saudi Arabia do not have bilateral travel under an air bubble arrangement or temporary travel corridors with an aim to carry out commercial passenger services at a time when regular worldwide flight services are suspended.

According to rules of the UAE government, every passenger travelling from India is required to bring an original COVID-19 negative certificate of an RT-PCR test done within 96 hours prior to the journey. All the worldwide flights in India were grounded on March 23 due to the virus outbreak.

Mr Saeed congratulated the Saudi ambassador on the national day of Saudi Arabia and conveyed his good wishes to the leadership of the kingdom. Besides India, it has also canceled air travel to and from Brazil and Argentina too for the same reason.

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