Two Nepalis test positive for COVID-19 in UAE; Qatar bans arrivals from Nepal

  • March 10, 2020

FILE PHOTO: Travellers wear masks as they arrive at Dubai International Airport, after the UAE’s Ministry of Health and Community Prevention confirmed the country’s first case of coronavirus, in Dubai, United Arab Emirates January 29, 2020. REUTERS/Christopher Pike/File Photo

Two Nepalis in the United Arab Emirates have tested positive for COVID-19 disease.

The novel coronavirus has spread across 101 countries, killing over 3,500 people and affecting more than 105,000.

The UAE’s Ministry of Health and Prevention yesterday said that the country recorded 14 new COVID-19 cases, bringing the total number of reported cases there to 59.

The statement issued by the UAE’s health ministry said the cases involved two Nepali nationals, four Emiratis, three Italians, two Bangladeshis, a Russian, an Indian and a Syrian national.

It added that the latest cases were discovered following an “active and continuous investigation” and the testing of those who came in contact with previously confirmed infected individuals who were quarantined.

“We have not yet got details of the patients, but we are trying,” said Rita Dhital, deputy chief of mission at the Embassy of Nepal, in Abu Dhabi, UAE.

Meanwhile, in a move to curb the spread of coronavirus, Qatar has temporarily suspended arrivals from 14 countries, including Nepal.

Qatar is a major destination for Nepali migrants and a vital source of remittance with over 400,000 Nepali migrant workers employed in various sectors in Qatar.

Issuing a travel notice, the Qatari government has suspended entry of people from Nepal, Bangladesh, China, Egypt, India, Iran, Iraq, Lebanon, Pakistan, Philippines, South Korea, Sri Lanka, Syria and Thailand.

Similarly, the Qatari government has also temporarily suspended work visas of up to 40,000 Nepali migrants, who were all set to fly to Qatar, until further notice.

Nepali airline companies have also halted service to Qatar.