The ban was initially imposed on April 25, after a surge in COVID-19 cases in India.

Flights on the runway Image courtesy: PTI
Coronavirus COVID-19 Monday, May 31, 2021 - 08:44
Written by  PTI

The United Arab Emirates (UAE) on Sunday extended the suspension of passenger flights from India till June 30 to combat the spread of the coronavirus pandemic. The ban was initially imposed on April 25, after a surge in COVID-19 cases in India. In a statement posted on its website on Sunday, Emirates, the flag carrier of the UAE, said, it has suspended passenger flights from India effective April 24 until June 30.

"Furthermore, passengers who have transited through India in the last 14 days will not be accepted to travel from any other point to the UAE," it said. However, "UAE nationals, holders of UAE Golden Visas and members of diplomatic missions who comply with the revised published COVID-19 protocols will be exempt for travel," the statement said. Emirates had earlier announced that the flight suspension would continue till June 14.

Scheduled international passenger services have been suspended in India since March 23, 2020 due to the coronavirus pandemic. But special international flights have been operating under the Vande Bharat Mission since May 2020, and under bilateral "air bubble" arrangements with select countries since July 2020.

Meanwhile, India has recorded a single-day rise of 1.65 lakh new COVID-19 cases, the lowest in 46 days, taking the country's infection tally to 2.78 crore, according to Union Health Ministry data updated on Sunday morning. The country had recorded 1.61 lakh infections on April 13. The daily positivity declined to 8.02%, remaining below the 10% mark for the sixth consecutive day. The death toll due to the disease climbed to 3.25 lakh in the country with 3,460 fatalities being recorded in a span of 24 hours, the data updated at 8 am showed.

Haryana, Odisha, Telangana and Sikkim were the latest among states and Union Territories to extend the COVID-induced lockdown, while Uttar Pradesh and Jammu and Kashmir on Sunday announced easing of restrictions in districts with less active cases, though night curfew and weekend shutdown will remain. Many states, including Kerala, Tamil Nadu, Maharashtra and Goa, have extended the lockdown or restrictions for a week to a fortnight in June, while some of them like Delhi, Madhya Pradesh and Himachal Pradesh have also announced a certain relaxation in the curbs due to a decline in new cases and positivity rate.