UAE visit visa holders not eligible for Covid-19 vaccine
The vaccine is currently available only to UAE citizens and resident expatriates.
A fake WhatsApp message going viral in the UAE reads: "In RAK govt facility, Covid vaccine is being given to visit visa holders as well. Just carry passport and the visa paper…No prior registration needed."
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The message has the website address of the UAE Ministry of Health and Prevention (Mohap), which lends it some credibility, perhaps. But it is fake, as Dubai visitors Manmohan Singh and his wife Satinder Kaur found out on Wednesday.
The couple aged over 70 suffers from chronic illnesses and is in Dubai on a visit visa.
On receiving the viral WhatsApp message, the aged couple undertook the hour-long drive to the RAK Healthcare Centre from Dubai.
After reaching the venue, the couple was stopped by a security guard, whose first question was: “Are you on a visit visa? We are not giving any Covid vaccinations to visit visa holders. The WhatsApp message is fake. Several people have been coming to the centre.”
The Mohap website also clearly states that the vaccine is currently open only to UAE citizens and resident expatriates.
Manmohan Singh and his wife had come to Dubai on a three-month visit visa in January and were due to return to Delhi in April. But considering the situation in India, they decided to extend their stay here for another three months.
“If the government allows, we might take another extension for three months. It feels safer here. But the only problem is vaccination. Despite spending six months here, we are unable to get inoculated. Since my wife and I suffer from co-morbidities, we are vulnerable to infection and want to get vaccinated, so we made that trip to RAK,” he said.
“Most of our friends here have resident visas and they all have been vaccinated,” said Satinder.
He expressed hope that the UAE government would open up vaccination for visit visa holders soon.
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