The United Arab Emirates (UAE) has imposed a ban on imports of fresh vegetables and fruits from Kerala, where 13 people have died following an outbreak of Nipah virus, as reported by Economic Times.
UAE's Climate Change and Environment Ministry has asked local authorities, including the Abu Dhabi Food Control Authority and the municipalities of its emirates, to prevent the entry of any fresh produce from Kerala.
The ministry suspects that fruit bats are the source of the virus. It said it was banning fresh produce, including mangoes, dates and bananas – the preferred fruits of bats.
"There will be no market recall on fruits and vegetables that have already been imported from Kerala," the Dubai Municipality clarified. However, the rest of the items coming after the Nipah virus outbreak "will banned from coming in through the port".
Earlier this week, UAE's Ministry of Health and Prevention had issued a travel warning to Kerala and asked residents to avoid unnecessary travels to the state.
According to the World Health Organization, there is no vaccine for the virus, which is spread through body fluids and can cause encephalitis, or inflammation of the brain.
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