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COVID-19 Update: Amid rising cases, Bangladesh suspends international flights for a week

Bangladesh joined New Zealand and Saudi Arabia, which have banned flights to and from other countries including India.

Image is used for representative purposes only. (Source: Pexels) (Picture Courtesy: Pexels)

New Delhi: Bangladesh on Monday announced a ban on all its international flights, to and from Bangladesh, from April 14 to April 20. The country joined countries like New Zealand and Saudi Arabia, which have banned flights from other countries including India.  Bangladesh has banned all international flights, to and from Bangladesh, from April 14 to April 20.

“Following the government guidance and instruction, with effect from 0001 BST on 14 April 2021 until 2359BST on 20 April 2021, all international passenger flights to/from Bangladesh shall remain suspended,” read the circular of the Civil Aviation Authority of Bangladesh (CAAB).

The neighbour country, however, added that it will allow only emergency and humanitarian flights to fly across its sky, for the next seven day. “Medevac, humanitarian/relief, cargo, technical landing (for refueling only) and the flights cleared under special consideration shall remain out of the purview of this suspension. Standard disinfection, sanitisation and social distancing procedure, published by CAAB or other competent authority of the government, for the passenger, crew, equipment and aircraft (inflight or on ground) shall strictly to be maintained followed for such flights,” the CAAB circular said.

The ban comes after India began recording over 1,00,000 cases daily during the last week. New Zealand was first to respond when it announced the suspension for travellers from India, including its own citizens on April 8. The suspension has taken effect from April 11 and will last till April 28, New Zealand Prime Minister Jacinda Ardern said last Thursday.

Saudi Arabia, back on February 3, had banned international flights from 20 countries including India, to tide over rising COVID-19 cases in its own country. The country’s interior ministry had announced a ‘temporary suspension’ for flights from these 20 countries which include the US, Egypt, Pakistan, Argentina, Germany, Ireland, Switzerland, France, Italy, Portugal, Indonesia, Japan, South Africa, United Kingdom, Germany, Sweden, Lebanon, UAE, and Turkey.

News agency ANI quoting sources added that international tourists who have a travel history from any of the abovementioned countries, 14 days prior to their travel to Saudi Arabia, are not allowed to enter the country.

The Government of India’s plan to restart international flights from March 31, 2021 was also derailed in the wake of rising COVID cases. The Centre has extended the ban on international commercial flights till 30 April, the Directorate General of Civil Aviation (DGCA) said in a circular released on March 23. These restrictions are not applicable to international all-cargo operations and flights specifically approved by DGCA. Only International scheduled flights will be allowed on selected routes by the competent authority on case to case basis, the circular read.

(With inputs from ANI)

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