March 13: The government has stopped issuing labour permits indefinitely amid concerns regarding coronavirus outbreak. According to the state-owned national news agency (RSS), the government took a decision to this effect with coronavirus (COVID-19) fast spreading across the globe.
The High Level Committee to Prevent Coronavirus on Thursday decided to stop issuing labour permit until further notice. The decision has come into effect from Friday (March 13), RSS reported citing chief of Tahachal-based Foreign Employment Office Umesh Basnet.
The government was under immense pressure not to send migrant workers abroad after cases of coronavirus were reported in Nepal’s prime employment destinations like South Korea, Malaysia, Qatar, the UAE, Oman, Bahrain, Kuwait among others. According to RSS, the Ministry of Labour and Employment had already planned to stop issuing labour permits but had not taken an official decision till now.
The government had earlier decided no to send migrant workers to South Korea throughout the month of March. Meanwhile, Qatar had recently banned visitors from 14 countries, including Nepal, in a measure to prevent the spread of the deadly disease which has already killed more than 3500 people and has spread to over 100 countries.
The World Health Organisations had declared COVID-19 as a pandemic on Wednesday (March 11).