Kathmandu, March 10

After the Qatar government decided to temporarily ban Nepalis from entering the country, the government has stopped issuing labour permits to the Gulf nation.

Issuing a notice today, the Department of Foreign Employment (DoFE) said that it has halted the work permits and re-entry permits in response to the Qatar government’s decision.

Kumar Dahal, director general at DoFE, informed that since the beginning of March, a total of 4,200 job aspirants had received labour permits for Qatar and most of them were yet to take off from here.

As per the manpower companies, more than 40,000 migrants who had already received work permits for Qatar were affected due to the decision of the Gulf country.

At present, more than 400,000 Nepali migrant workers are employed in Qatar.

As per Dahal, the labour offices across the country had issued foreign employment permits to 117,633 job aspirants for various destinations.

While the government claims there is no confirmed case of coronavirus in Nepal as of today, the World Health Organisation has categorised Nepal as a ‘high-risk country’.

Meanwhile, the Qatar Visa Centre in Nepal has also suspended its operations from today.

The centre had been providing all visa-related services, including health check-up, for Nepalis vying to go to Qatar.

“We are closed until further notice, as per the decision of the Qatar government,” said Gaurav Chhetri, chief executive officer of the centre.

Issuing a travel notice on Monday, the Qatar government had suspended entry for people from Nepal, Bangladesh, China, Egypt, India, Iran, Iraq, Lebanon, Pakistan, Philippines, South Korea, Sri Lanka, Syria and Thailand.

Earlier on Monday, the Nepali Embassy in Doha had urged Nepalis in Qatar to avoid unnecessary contacts to minimise the chances of contracting the virus.