UAE bans import of fruits, vegetables from Kerala
New Delhi: United Arab Emirates (UAE) on Tuesday banned import of fresh fruits and vegetables from Kerala in the wake of outbreak of Nipah virus (NiV) in the state.
The UAE's Ministry of Climate Change and Environment (MOCCAE) said in a statement that it has banned the imports of fresh vegetables and fruits from Kerala.
The ministry said a circular has been issued to the concerned local authorities including the Abu Dhabi Food Control Authority and the municipalities of Dubai, Sharjah, Ajman, Umm Al Quwain, Ras Al Khaimah and Fujairah to prevent the entry of all kinds of fresh vegetables and fruits from Kerala.
It further said the decision is based on the information received and published on the World Health Organisation (WHO) website regarding the outbreak of NiV infection in Kerala.
Preliminary information, it added indicates that the main host of the disease is the fruit bat, where the virus is transmitted through secretions from the bat to the fruit that it feeds on or touches.
Mangoes, dates and bananas are the bat's most preferred fruit. There have been cases of transmission of the disease among humans and between humans and animals as well.
Brain damaging Nipah virus has led to death of over 10 people so far in the southern state. PTI