UAE suspends visit visas for Pakistan and eleven other countries

Vastavam web: 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”. “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. 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 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.