The UAE on Wednesday temporarily suspended issuing new visas to visitors from Pakistan and 11 other countries until further notice, the Foreign Ministry said.
The UAE authorities’ decision “is believed to be linked to the second wave of Covid-19,” Foreign Ministry spokesman Zahid Hafeez Chaudhri said in a statement.
“We have learned that the UAE has temporarily suspended the issuance of new visit visas until further notice for 12 countries, including Pakistan,” he said, adding that the government was seeking official confirmation from the UAE authorities. on this subject.
However, the suspension would not apply to visas already issued, the foreign ministry said.
It was not immediately clear how many categories of visas would be affected by the suspension. The UAE has various categories of visas including business, tourist, public transport, and student.
Other countries affected by the UAE government’s new visa guidelines are Turkey, Iran, Yemen, Syria, Iraq, Somalia, Libya, Kenya and Afghanistan.
In June, as cases in Pakistan were on the rise, UAE airline Emirates announced the temporary suspension of passenger services from Pakistan until July 3.
The decision came after around 30 Pakistanis who arrived in Hong Kong on an Emirates flight tested positive for the virus. The airline resumed flights in July, Dawn News reported.
In August, Kuwaiti air force banned commercial flights to Pakistan and 30 other countries considered “ at high risk ” due to the spread of the coronavirus.
The number of infections has increased in Pakistan since the end of last month and authorities have said the country is witnessing the second wave of Covid-19. The rate of positivity for the disease has increased, especially in large cities such as Karachi, Lahore, Islamabad, Faisalabad, and Hyderabad.
On Monday, Prime Minister Imran Khan urged the population to “act as a nation” to curb the spread of the new coronavirus, which has so far infected 363,380 people and killed 7,230 in the country.
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