Qatar and Bahrain have suspended all direct flights to and from India from late September following outbreaks of pneumonic plague in two Indian states. Lebanon has barred Indians from entering the country and Pakistan has stopped issuing visas to travellers from three west Indian states: Maharashtra, Gujarat and Rajasthan.

The UAE says it will carry out medical tests on all passengers from India at ports of entry, and Saudi Arabia, Oman and Kuwait are considering similar measures. An estimated 1 million Indians work in the Gulf states, most of them in the UAE and Saudi Arabia.

An outbreak of the plague in Gujarat state has spread to neighbouring Maharashtra state, and several cases are reported in Calcutta and New Delhi. More than 40 people have died in Gujarat and hundreds have been infected there and in Maharashtra.