Tanzania stops flights to and from India amid coronavirus surge

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(Corrects title of official to permanent secretary in third paragraph)

NAIROBI (Reuters) - Tanzania has suspended flights to and from India amid the COVID-19 surge in the Southeast Asian nation, the country's health ministry said, the latest sign of its increasingly active approach to tackling the pandemic under its new president.

It joins a growing list of East African countries that have halted flights to and from India, including Uganda and Kenya.

The suspension is effective immediately and will apply until further notice, the statement from the ministry's permanent secretary Abel Makubi dated Tuesday said. Exceptions would be made for cargo planes and pre-approved flights on humanitarian, diplomatic, and medical missions.

These are among the latest tough measures taken by the government to prevent the spread of the novel coronavirus since President Samia Suluhu Hassan took office in March.

Hassan’s approach has differed markedly from her predecessor John Magufuli, who downplayed the severity of the virus and encouraged natural remedies to combat it.

(Reporting by Nairobi newsroom; editing by Emelia Sithole-Matarise)