Saudi Arabia bans travelers from Vietnam over Delta variant fears

By Nguyen Quy   July 2, 2021 | 07:54 pm PT
Saudi Arabia bans travelers from Vietnam over Delta variant fears
Passengers talk to airline employees at Riyadh International Airport, in Riyadh, Saudi Arabia May 31, 2020. Photo by Reuters.
Saudi Arabian authorities have banned arrivals from the UAE, Ethiopia and Vietnam amid rising global concern about the spread of the delta variants of Covid-19.

The ban, which takes effect Sunday, will apply to everyone who has been in those countries in the last 14 days, it said.

Flights to and from the three nations will also be suspended from Sunday.

The Saudi Ministry of Interior said the decision was due to concerns about the spread of more infectious variants of the coronavirus in these countries.

Saudi Arabia has had 490,464 Covid cases and 7,848 deaths so far.

The highly transmissible Delta variant, first identified in India, has become the most prevalent in many countries, including Vietnam where most new cases are linked to it.

There is also concern over the latest mutations of this variant. One such, considered to be 50 percent more transmissible than other strains and dubbed Delta-plus, is now present in 12 countries, including the U.S., the U.K., Japan, Russia, and China.

Several other countries have been banning and imposing stricter quarantine measures for travelers from Vietnam. Two months into its fourth wave, the most challenging so far, the country has recorded 14,955 cases.

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