Kathmandu [Nepal], November 28 (ANI): Nepal has banned the entry of passengers from South African nation until further notice over the fear of infection of a new strain of COVID-19 which is claimed to be more contagious.
Nepal's Ministry of Home Affairs has issued a circular to the Department of Immigration (DoI), Tribhuwan International Airport and all border entry points to bar travellers from South Africa to deny permission to enter the Himalayan nation.
"The ban would go immediately into effect till next notice. The Department of Immigration, Tribhuwan International Airport and the border offices have been informed about it" Phadindra Mani Pokhrel, Spokesperson at Home Ministry told ANI over the phone.
"Diplomatic staffs and those working in emergency sectors and reasons would be an exception," Pokhrel added.
World Health Organization (WHO) earlier on Sunday also had issued a warning to Nepal and South Asian and Southeast Asian Countries to adopt high vigilance against the possibility of transmission.
In a statement issued on Sunday, WHO South-East Asia Regional Director Dr PoonamKshetrapal Singh called on all countries to promote surveillance, public health standards and social distance and vaccination programs considering the vulnerability.
"Although the number of COVID-19 infections has been relatively low in most countries in the region, new variants have been found in some parts of the world. The risk of infection has not yet been completely eliminated and we need to do our utmost to control it," Dr Kshetrapal said.
The statement also remarked that all South and Southeast Asian countries, including Nepal, should focus on surveillance as well as sequencing. It also suggested that all international travellers be placed under additional surveillance.
"Even today, the easiest way to control the virus is to use a proper mask, social distance, avoid crowds, sanitation and the use of vaccines," she said.
She further pointed out that 31 per cent of the region has been fully vaccinated, 21 per cent have received one dose and 48 per cent are yet to be vaccinated. So large numbers are still at risk of infection. (ANI)