Cairo: The Bahraini parliament has requested the government to suspend all flights with India amid concerns on the health situation in the South Asian country, local media reported.
India is grappling with a dramatic surge in COVID-19 infections as hospitals have reportedly run out of oxygen and other essential medical supplies.
In an urgent proposal referred to the government, the Bahraini Council of Representatives called for halting all flights with India, including those of transit passengers, exempting only returning Bahrainis.
“The reason we have presented this proposal is what is happening in friendly India regarding an outbreak of the coronavirus pandemic in an unprecedented way due to a virus mutant and the enormity of human losses that have prompted international aid, including from Bahrain,” MP Abdulnabi Salman, the first deputy head of the legislature, said.
“Bahrain has historic ties with India dating back to hundreds of years. But what is now happening requires swift caution and vigilance,” he added in media remarks. Salman called for a temporary ban on flights with India to protect Bahrain’s citizens and foreign residents.
Several countries have already halted flights with India over the health situation there. Bahrain began Tuesday enforcing restrictions on arrivals from three countries including India.
According to the new rules, all passengers arriving in Bahrain from India, Pakistan and Bangladesh, including those transiting through them, have to show a certificate proving results of coronavirus-detecting PCR testing with the QR code, done 48 hours before departure from any of the three countries.
Around 450,000 to 500,000 Indians and 120,000 Pakistanis are living in Bahrain. There are, moreover, about 150,000 Bangladeshis in Bahrain, according to a Bangladeshi embassy estimate.
The new measure applies to those arrivals, in addition to previously announced procedures implemented for all passengers landing at the Bahrain International Airport.
Bahrain requires all arrivals, citizens and foreigners, to undergo a series of PCR tests costing BD36 at their own expense. The first test is conducted upon arrival and the second five days later. The third and final test takes place on the 10th day of arrival.