Saudi Arabia suspends travel to India, 15 other nations as COVID cases surge

A man checks the flight timings at an empty King Khalid International Airport in Riyadh, Saudi Arabia, during the pandemic, May 16, 2021. REUTERS
Saudi Arabia has banned its citizens from travelling to sixteen countries, including India, following the re-outbreak of COVID-19 and a rapid surge in daily infections over the past few weeks.

The sixteen countries include Lebanon, Syria, Turkey, Iran, Afghanistan, India, Yemen, Somalia, Ethiopia, the Democratic Republic of Congo, Libya, Indonesia, Vietnam, Armenia, Belarus and Venezuela, Gulf News reports.

The ban comes following a steady increase in daily COVID-19 cases over the past few weeks.

Further, the Ministry of Health in Saudi Arabia has assured the public that zero monkeypox cases have been detected in the country. Abdullah Asiri, deputy minister of health for preventive health, has said that the kingdom has the capability to monitor and discover any suspected monkeypox cases and also to fight against the infection if any new case emerges.

"Until now, cases of transmission between humans are very limited, and therefore the possibility of any outbreaks occurring from it, even in countries that have detected cases, are very low," he added.

The World Health Organization said about 80 cases of monkeypox have been confirmed in 11 countries, warning that more cases are likely to be reported.