New Delhi: At a time when India is battling a double crisis of oxygen shortage and COVID rise, many rich citizens are trying to flee the country to escape from the infection. They are trying to book flight tickets and even trying private jets to flee the country. Because of their frantic search, the airfare has gone up and the demand for private jets also has skyrocketed this week. As per a report by news agency AFP, these rich citizens are trying to fly to UAE before flights to the United Arab Emirates shut down.Also Read - Delhi Witnesses Marginal Dip in Covid Numbers, Registers 403 Fresh Cases; Positivity Rate Stands At 1.76%

Due to the COVID rise in the country, all flights from the UAE to India — one of the world’s busiest air corridors — will be suspended from Sunday. Also Read - FIFA World Cup 2022: Airfare to Qatar Shoot Up 1900%; Dubai to be Choice of Stay For Fans

Price comparison websites projected that one-way commercial flights from Mumbai to Dubai on Friday and Saturday costing as much as Rs 80,000 ($1,000), around 10 times the usual rate. On the other hand, the tickets for the New Delhi to Dubai route were going for more than Rs 50,000 rupees, five times the normal level. No tickets were on offer from Sunday when the 10-day flight suspension comes into force. Also Read - Coronavirus Not Gone Yet, Maharashtra CM Urges All Not to Lower Guard. Here's What He Said

On the other side, the amount of interest for private jets was “absolutely crazy”, a spokesman for charter company Air Charter Service India told AFP. “We have 12 flights going to Dubai tomorrow and each flight is completely full,” the spokesman said.

“I’ve fielded almost 80 enquiries for flying to Dubai today alone,” said a spokesman for Enthral Aviation, another provider.

Moreover, the one -way flights from Mumbai or Delhi to London on Friday were priced at between Rs 100,000 and Rs 150,000, at least double the usual rate when booking at short notice.

The development comes at a time when India recorded fresh 3,46,786 coronavirus cases on Saturday, pushing total tally of infection to 1,66,10,481, while active cases crossed the 25-lakh mark.

The Union Health Ministry data updated on Saturday stated that the death toll rose to 1,89,544 with a record 2,624 more fatalities in a day.

With a steady increase, active cases in the country reached 25,52,940 and comprise 15.37 per cent of the total infections, while the national COVID-19 recovery rate has further dropped to 83.49 per cent. India crossed the grim milestone of a total of 1.50 crore COVID-19 on April 19 this year.

A total of 1,89,544 deaths have been reported so far in the country, including 63,252 from Maharashtra, 14,075 from Karnataka, 13,395 from Tamil Nadu, 13,541 from Delhi, 10,825 from West Bengal, 10,737 from Uttar Pradesh, 8,264 from Punjab and 7,579 from Andhra Pradesh.