PARIS, France: As Brazil has been hit hard by a coronavirus variant, France will temporarily halt all flights to and from Brazil, French Prime Minister Jean Castex said in parliament.
"We take note that the situation is getting worse, and we have decided to suspend all flights between France and Brazil until further notice," Castex said.
Prior to the announcement, French doctors called upon the government to stop all air traffic with Brazil.
One month ago, Health Minister Olivier Veran said some six percent of COVID-19 cases in France were due to the more contagious variants from Brazil and South Africa.
Last week, Brazil recorded the most fatalities since the start of the pandemic, with 4,195 people dead in just 24 hours.
Statistics indicate that the state of Sao Paulo and the city of Rio de Janeiro have the largest number of Covid-related death in the country.
Further, ICUs in at least 17 states report over 90 percent occupancy. Also, medications and oxygen have repeatedly run low at various times during the pandemic.
On Thursday, the National Council of Municipal Health Secretariats declared that some 20 percent of Brazil's cities were at risk of running out of medical oxygen over the next ten days.