Islamabad: The United Arab Emirates (UAE) has temporarily suspended the issuance of new visas to visitors for Pakistan and 11 other countries until further notice.

Pakistan's Foreign Office on Wednesday confirmed the news saying the decision by the UAE authorities is "believed to be related to the second wave of COVID-19," Foreign Office spokesperson Zahid Hafeez Chaudhri said in a statement.

"We have learned that the UAE has temporarily suspended the issuance of new visit visas until further announcement for 12 countries, including Pakistan," the country's Foreign Office spokesperson Zahid Hafeez Chaudhri said.

However, the suspension would not apply on already issued visas, the Foreign Office said.

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It was not immediately clear how many categories of visas would be affected by the suspension. The UAE has various visa categories, including business, tourist, transit and student.

Besides Pakistan, the UAE government suspended the issuance of visit visas to Turkey, Iran, Yamen, Syria, Iraq, Somalia, Libya, Kenya, and Afghanistan among others.

This development comes amid a rising number of Covid-19 cases in the country. For nearly one week, Pakistan has recorded over 2,000 new coronavirus cases.

Back in June, when cases in Pakistan were on the rise, UAE's Emirates had announced the temporary suspension of passenger services.

Pakistan has so far recorded 363,380 cases of coronavirus and 7,230 deaths. There are 30,362 active Covid-