OTTAWA -- The number of planes landing in Canada carrying passengers with COVID-19 was cut by more than half in the two weeks after the federal government barred incoming flights from India and Pakistan.

Transport Canada announced April 22 that direct flights from the countries would be halted for 30 days after high numbers of passengers were testing positive for the virus after landing.

The last flights to arrive from India landed in Toronto the next day.

Health Canada data posted online show between April 10 and 23, 135 international flights arrived with at least one passenger who had COVID-19.

Thirty-six of those were direct flights from India and two were from Pakistan.

Between April 24 and May 7, the total number fell to 56 flights, including a dozen from the United States and eight from Europe.

A spokeswoman for Health Canada says the ban on direct flights from India and Pakistan has also affected passengers trying to return to Canada from those countries on connecting flights through airports in Europe or the United States.

This report by The Canadian Press was first published May 14, 2021.