UAE suspends visa issuance for Kenyans as country battles second COVID-19 wave

UAE Visa
UAE has suspended issuance of visas for Kenyans. [Photo: Gulf News]

The issuance of visas for Kenyans by the Unites Arab Emirates (UAE) has been suspended following an increase in the number of COVID-19 cases.

Hitherto, the suspension is not clear as to which category of visas has been suspended. Usually, visas are categorized under business, student, tourist or transit.

Kenyan is among 11 other countries who the UAE halted further issuance of visas for including Somalia, Pakistan, Iran, Turkey, Libya, Afghanistan, Iraq, Yemen among others.

UAE noted that those who had been issued visas will not be affected by the new directive.

The new directive by UAE has been inspired by the second wave of COVID-19 which Kenya is currently battling.

Since October, the number of COVID-19 case have risen dramatically, with more deaths being recorded daily.

On Thursday, the total cases of COVID-19 in the country stood at 74,145 while the number of fatalities rose to 1,330.

In one week, Kenya lost 10 specialist doctors to COVID-19 when more than 1,000 other have been left battling the virus after testing positive.

The Kenya Medical Practitioners, Pharmacists and Dentists Union (KMPDU) have threatened to down tools citing hardships in the course of their duties which has led to the death of their colleagues.

While appearing before a parliamentary committee on Wednesday, KMPDU Secretary-General Dr Chibanzi Mwachinda decried lack of PPEs and medical insurance.

His narration sent Seme MP Dr James Nyokal and Laikipia North MP Sarah Lekolele to tears.

 “Over the last 8 months KMPDU has continuously engaged all relevant government ministries, parastatals and council of governors, the legislature and followed all relevant channels in employment and labor relations in a bid to address the plight of frontline healthcare workers. The union had put the industrial off the table but now we have been forced to review our options,” said Chibanzi Mwachonda, KMPDU Secretary-General.