Hyderabad: Saudi Arabia has suspended International flights from 20 countries including India.

Starting from Wednesday, the flights will remain suspended for 14 days in a bid to contain the spread of COVID-19.

The countries in the list are those where the new strain of COVID-19 surfaced. The ban includes travellers who transited through these 20 countries within 14 days prior to their journey.

The countries in the list include Argentina, United Arab Emirates, Germany, United States, Indonesia, Ireland, Italy, Pakistan, Brazil, Portugal, United Kingdom, Turkey, South Africa, Sweden, Switzerland, France, Lebanon, Egypt, India, and Japan.

There will be exceptions for diplomats, Saudi citizens and medical professionals.

"Diplomats, health practitioners, and their families coming from the aforementioned countries or those who transited any of those countries during the 14 days preceding their return to the Kingdom will enter the Kingdom in accordance with the precautionary measures imposed by the Ministry of Health," said Al Arabiya said quoting Saudi Press Agency.

According to Johns Hopkins University, the Kingdom has so far recorded over 368,639 COVID-19 cases and 6,383 deaths.

The announcement comes after Saudi's health minister Tawfiq al-Rabiah warned that new coronavirus restrictions could be imposed if citizens and residents do not comply with health restrictions.

On December 17, Saudi Arabia launched its coronavirus vaccination campaign after receiving the first shipment of the Pfizer-BioNTech vaccine.

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