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Saudi, Bahrain, Sudan ban flights from African countries over COVID variant

Travellers walk near an electronic flight notice board displaying cancelled flights at OR Tambo International Airport in Johannesburg on 27 November 2021, after several countries banned flights from South Africa following the discovery of a new Covid-19 variant Omicron. [PHILL MAGAKOE/AFP via Getty Images]
Travellers walk near an electronic flight notice board displaying cancelled flights at OR Tambo International Airport in Johannesburg on 27 November 2021, after several countries banned flights from South Africa following the discovery of a new Covid-19 variant Omicron. [PHILL MAGAKOE/AFP via Getty Images]

Saudi Arabia, Bahrain and Sudan on Sunday suspended flights with a number of African countries due to the Omicron variant of the coronavirus discovered in South Africa, Anadolu reports.

The Saudi state news agency SPA, citing a source with the Interior Ministry, said direct flights were suspended with Malawi, Zambia, Madagascar, Angola, Seychelles, Mauritius and Comoros.

On Friday, the oil-rich kingdom banned flights from South Africa, Namibia, Botswana, Zimbabwe, Mozambique, Lesotho and Eswatini amid fears of the high infectious Omicron variant.

Bahrain also banned passengers from Malawi, Mozambique, Angola and Zambia, according to the state news agency BNA.

Bahraini nationals and holders of valid visas to Bahrain, however, were allowed to fly to the Gulf state.

Health authorities in Sudan also banned flights from South Africa, Zimbabwe, Botswana, Lesotho and Namibia over the Omicron variant.

The World Health Organization (WHO) declared Friday that the Omicron is a "variant of concern".

READ: Israel bans arrivals from most of Africa over new coronavirus variant 

Categories
AfricaBahrainCoronavirusMiddle EastNewsSaudi ArabiaSudan
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