(Ottawa) The number of flights landing with passengers on COVID-19 in Canada has halved since the federal government cut off routes to India and Pakistan.
Transportation passengers announced on April 22 that direct flights from the two countries would be suspended for 30 days.
The last flight from India landed in Toronto the day after it was announced.
According to Health Canada data published online, between April 10 and April 23, 135 international flights arrived in the country with at least one passenger on board COVID-19.
Of these flights, 36 were direct from India and two were direct from Pakistan.
From April 24 to May 7, that number dropped significantly: 56 international flights arrived in the country with at least one infected passenger, a dozen from the United States and eight from Europe.
In the two weeks leading up to the ban, the U.S. Cities have 27 flights, but only 12 in the next two weeks.
There are 25 flights with positive passengers from Europe from April 10 to April 23 and nine flights from April 24 to May 7.
The number of flights from Turkey dropped from 11 to two and the number of flights from the United Arab Emirates dropped from 13 to five with positively tested passengers.
Health Canada spokesman Tommy Jorby said the flight ban also affected passengers trying to return to Canada from India and Pakistan on connecting flights from airports in Europe or states.
All travelers traveling to Canada must submit a negative COVID-19 test taken 72 hours before departure, a second time upon arrival in Canada and a third eight to 10 days later.
When the ban on direct flights from India and Pakistan was enforced, Canada also said passengers traveling in one of those countries, but travelers traveling directly to Canada would have to undergo another test in their connecting city.
Connected flights will be further affected by travel restrictions from India to many other countries, including Europe and the United States. In recent weeks, at least 30 countries have imposed some travel restrictions on flights from India.
India is catching up with the huge increase in COVID-19 cases, with an average of 330,000 cases per day in the last four weeks.
Increases for some countries
However, the number of flights carrying COVID-19-infected passengers from several countries has increased in the two weeks following the flight ban in India and Pakistan.
Qatar operated five flights with positive passengers from April 10 to 23 and that number increased to six from April 24 to May 7.
Many countries not listed in the first two weeks, including China, Japan, Panama and the Philippines, tested positive for passengers within two weeks after the ban.
In April, Health Minister Patty Hajdu said that the reason why India and Pakistan were hurt by the ban was because a large percentage of passengers from those countries tested positive.
Air Canada announced this week that it was voluntarily extending the ban on flights from India until June 22 for an additional month.
A statement from the Office of Transport Minister Omar Alghabra said Canada was not extending the blanket ban at this time.
“We are reviewing the public health situation of COVID-19 worldwide and will adjust border measures if necessary,” the statement said. In the case of India and Pakistan, our Government is closely monitoring the developments and deciding on the next steps. [l’interdiction de vols] Based on evidence and expert public health advice. ”
The number of people on board was not specified when the flight data arrived, but only whether there were positive passengers.
Separately, Health Canada told the Canadian Press that from February 22 to the end of April, 5,000 international air passengers tested positive for COVID-19 on the day or eight to 10 days after arrival, i.e. 1% of all passengers.