Kathmandu, Nov 29, : Nepal has suspended issuing Visas for visitors from African countries after the emergence of a new Covid variant Omicron.This variant is believed to be more lethal than the existing ones.The Ministry of Home Affairs of Nepal has directed the Department of Immigration, Tribhuvan International Airport in Kathmandu, and the administration offices of districts bordering India to not issue Visas upon arrival of people from African countries.
Phanindra Mani pokhrel, spokesperson for the Home Ministry, stated that Visas should not be issued to people arriving from Africa to reduce the risk of spreading the virus variant.
He said that Nepalis returning from these countries can remain in home quarantine.
The Health Ministry has increased caution in light of the possibility that Omicron (B.1.1.529), a new variant first reported in South Africa, could spread to Nepal, stated Dr Samir Kumar Adhikari.He is also the joint spokesperson for the Ministry of Health and Population.
Adhikari stated that although the variant has not been reported in Nepal yet, there are still risks.”There is a high chance that the variant will be transported to Nepal.We are all ready to stop its spread.”
He said that the World Health Organisation has increased the vigil at the country’s only international airport, Tribhuvan International Airport, in an effort to prevent the variant from being classified as “of concern”.
To prevent the spread of Omicron, governments around the globe have taken several measures to restrict direct flights from disease-affected countries and ban foreigners from entering.
The main weapon against the Covid pandemic lies in the acceleration of vaccination drives.
However, many countries still have not received the required doses.As of Monday, Nepal has received 27% of its total vaccines.
Children and the rest of the population are still waiting for a single dose of Covid vaccine.
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