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Saudi Arabia suspends India flights due to coronavirus, sources say

DUBAI (Reuters) - Saudi Arabia on Tuesday suspended flights to and from India and banned those who have visited the country in the past 14 days from entering the kingdom, said two sources familiar with the matter.

Saudi Arabia this month partially lifted a suspension on international flights that had been enforced since March to curb the spread of the novel coronavirus.

It was not immediately clear how long the suspension would last, which the sources said was due to the outbreak in India.

There will be some exemptions, such as for flights carrying Indian nationals to India and those invited to the kingdom by the government, they said.

Saudi Arabia’s government communications office did not immediately respond to request for comment outside usual working hours.

India, with a population of about 1.4 billion, has been consistently reporting the world’s highest daily tallies of infections, and has recorded 5,732,518 cases of coronavirus.

There have been 91,149 deaths.

Saudi Arabia has seen 331,857 cases and 4,599 deaths, both the highest in the Gulf Arab region.

The flight suspension and entry ban also applies to Brazil and Argentina due to the outbreaks there, the sources said.

There are no direct commercial flights from Saudi Arabia to either of the South American countries.

Reporting by Alexander Cornwell; Editing by Nick Zieminski

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