In statement, Foreign Office spokesperson says move likely related to ‘second wave’ of coronavirus
The United Arab Emirates this week suspended “until further notice” the issuance of visit visas to 12 countries, including Pakistan, the Ministry of Foreign Affairs has confirmed.
In a statement, Foreign Office spokesperson Zahid Hafeez Chaudhri said that the decision was believed to be “related to the second wave of COVID-19.” However, he added, the Government of Pakistan was still awaiting official confirmation from U.A.E. authorities.
Chaudhri stressed that the measure was “temporary,” and that it would not apply on individuals who had already been issued visit visas or held iqamas, transit, or work visas.
According to media reports, the U.A.E.’s decision also impacts residents of Turkey, Afghanistan, Iraq, Syria, Libya, Lebanon, Kenya, Iran, Yemen and Somalia. Curiously, it does not seem to apply to the U.S., despite it currently being the epicenter of the virus with over 100,000 cases being reported daily.
Pakistan has now gone a week with more than 2,000 new daily infections and the government has imposed new restrictions in a bid to curb its spread. However, Prime Minister Imran Khan has vowed that no decisions would be taken that would impact the country’s economy.