UAE suspends visit visas for Pakistan, 11 other countries: Full list1 min read . Updated: 19 Nov 2020, 10:03 AM IST
- Pakistan's Foreign Office confirmed the news saying that the decision by the UAE authorities is 'believed to be related to the second wave of COVID-19'
- However, the suspension would not apply on already issued visas, the Foreign Office said
The United Arab Emirates (UAE) has temporarily suspended the issuance of new visas to visitors from Pakistan and 11 other countries until further notice, according to the Foreign Office.
Pakistan's Foreign Office confirmed the news saying that the decision by the UAE authorities is "believed to be related to the second wave of COVID-19", news agency ANI reported.
"We have learnt that the UAE has temporarily suspended the issuance of new visit visas until further announcement for 12 countries, including Pakistan," Pak's Foreign Office spokesperson Zahid Hafeez Chaudhri said, adding that the government is seeking official confirmation from the UAE authorities in this matter.
However, the suspension would not apply on already issued visas, the Foreign Office said.
It was not immediately clear how many categories of visas would be affected by the suspension. The UAE has various visa categories, including business, tourist, transit and student.
The other countries hit by the UAE government's fresh visa directives include Turkey, Iran, Yemen, Syria, Iraq, Somalia, Libya, Kenya and Afghanistan.
This development comes amid a rising number of cases of coronavirus in the country. For nearly one week, Pakistan has recorded over 2,000 fresh Covid-19 cases.
In June, when cases in Pakistan were on the rise, UAE airline Emirates had announced temporary suspension of passenger services from Pakistan till July 3.
Also, around 30 Pakistanis who arrived in Hong Kong on board an Emirates flight tested positive for the virus. The airline resumed its flights in July, the Dawn News reported.
In August, Kuwait's aviation banned commercial flights to Pakistan and 30 other countries regarded as 'high risk' due to the spread of the coronavirus.
The number of infections has been rising in Pakistan since late last month and authorities have declared that the country was witnessing the second wave of COVID-19. The positivity rate of the disease has increased, especially in major cities including Karachi, Lahore, Islamabad, Faisalabad and Hyderabad.
On Monday, Prime Minister Imran Khan had urged the people to "act as a nation" in order to curb the spread of the novel coronavirus.
The country has so far recorded 363,380 cases of coronavirus and 7,230 deaths. There are 30,362 active COVID-19 cases in Pak as of now.