Oman to suspend travel from India, Pakistan and Bangladesh

New ban comes as India faces surge in Covid-19 cases

Oman will not accept flights from India, Bangladesh or Pakistan until further notice. Oman Airports
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Oman will bar entry to arrivals from India, Pakistan and Bangladesh starting on April 24, as part of measures to contain the Covid-19 pandemic, Oman's supreme committee for coronavirus announced on Wednesday.

Those who have passed through these countries in the two weeks before travelling are also barred from entry.

The news has alarmed families split between the sultanate and the barred nations, leaving some worried they need to arrange travel in the short period before the ban comes into force.

"It will be the first time in our lives that my sister and I will not be spending Eid with our parents," Mohammed Attaullah, 33, an Indian resident in Muscat, told The National.

"My father is back home in India for kidney infection treatment in the last two weeks. My mother is with him at the hospital. He will be discharged on May 2 and he cannot now come back because of this new rule."

Sameer Khan, 42, a mechanical engineer said he will be separated from his wife by the new restrictions.

“My wife went to Pakistan for a short break to see her sick mother. Her return ticket is on April 29," Mr Khan said.

"It is too soon to make an arrangement for her to return before the 6pm deadline is on April 24. If I could find her a seat by then, it would mean paying extra charges. Otherwise, we will be separated for an indefinite period of time."

Oman joins several countries who announced bans on entry of passengers from India. India is currently facing a surge in coronavirus cases.

India's Covid-19 cases soared as a devastating second wave hit the country after a spate of crowded election rallies, festivals and religious gatherings. Hospitals across the country are struggling to keep up with the growing number of infections, running out of hospital beds and suffering shortages of oxygen for those in critical need.

Oman is working to tackle the number of cases of Covid-19 while moving forward with its vaccination campaign. Nearly 200,000 people have been vaccinated in the sultanate with the majority of those administered in Muscat.

On Wednesday, Oman's Ministry of Health reported 17 deaths and 1,077 new infection cases. The total number of deaths now has reached 1,926 while a total of 183,770 have been infected by the deadly virus.

On Wednesday, 115 people were admitted to hospital, bringing the total number of patients in hospital to 812, including 264 in intensive care units.

Also on Wednesday, the supreme committee barred children under the age of 12 from entering shopping malls.

A stay-home order will be enforced in the sultanate during Ramadan between 9pm and 4am.