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Ottawa| Canada’s government said that it would temporarily bar passenger flights from India and Pakistan for 30 days starting on Thursday as part of stricter measures to combat the spread of the coronavirus.

“Given the higher number of cases of Covid-19 detected in air passengers arriving in Canada from India and Pakistan… I am suspending all commercial and private passenger flights arriving in Canada from Indian and Pakistan for 30 days,” Alghabra told a news conference.

“This is a temporary measure, while we assess the evolving situation and determine appropriate measures going forward,” he added.

The restriction will go into effect at 11:30 pm Eastern Time Thursday (0330 GMT Friday).

It will not apply to cargo flights, Alghabra said, particularly to ensure the continued shipment of vaccines, personal protective equipment and other essential goods.