Iranian minister calls for putting India to travel ban list

TEHRAN, Apr. 24 (MNA) – Iranian Health Minister Saeed Namaki has asked authorities to stop travels to and from India due to concerns over coronavirus outbreak.

In a letter on Saturday to Rahmani Fazli, Interior Minister and head of the commander of the operational room of the country’s coronavirus taskforce, Namaki wrote “Due to the very dangerous mutation of the COVID-19 virus in India it is necessary to stop the transfer of passengers both directly and indirectly from India.”

India's coronavirus infections rose by 346,786 overnight, the health ministry said on Saturday, setting a new world record for the third consecutive day, as overwhelmed hospitals in the densely-populated country begged for oxygen supplies, reported Nikkei Asia.

India is in the grip of a rampaging second wave of the pandemic, hitting a rate of one COVID-19 death in just under every four minutes in Delhi as the capital's underfunded health system buckles. The government has deployed military planes and trains to get oxygen from the far corners of the country to Delhi.

The crisis is also being felt in other parts of the country, with several hospitals issuing public notices that they don't have medical oxygen. Local media reported fresh cases of people dying in the cities of Jaipur and Amritsar for lack of gas.

India surpassed the U.S. record of 297,430 single-day infections anywhere in the world on Thursday, making it the global epicentre of a pandemic that is waning in many other countries. The Indian government had itself declared it had beaten back the coronavirus in February when new cases fell to all-time lows.

MAH/TSN 2490457/PR

News Code 172488

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