Breaking: Concerns over new COVID variant halts travels, trade between Iran, India
Iran has banned all direct and indirect travels to and from India and has suspended trade exchanges with the subcontinent country over concerns about a new ‘double mutant’ strain of the coronavirus.
According to Tasnim news agency, Iran’s Interior Minister Abdolreza Rahmani Fazli, who is also the commander of the National Operational Headquarters for the Battle against the Coronavirus, announced the ban on all direct and indirect travels to and from India and on the exchange of commodities from all land, sea, and air borders until further notice.
In a letter to the minister of roads and urban development, Rahmani Fazli has ordered that the suspension of travels as well as exports and imports to and from India come into force on Saturday without any delay.
A new ‘double mutant’ COVID-19 strain that originated from India has set the world on edge, with several countries imposing longer quarantines on travelers from India or shutting them out altogether.
The B.1.617 variant has already appeared elsewhere, including in the US, Australia, and Singapore.
India first reported the B.1.617 genome to the global database (GISAID) in October.
The US on Wednesday advised against travel to India, saying that “even fully vaccinated travelers may be at risk for getting and spreading COVID-19 variants”.