The Fruit and Vegetabel Market in Al Aweer, Dubai.
PHOTO BY EXPAT MEDIA
DUBAI – A ban on fruits and vegetables from Kerala is expected to affect at least 100 tonnes of fresh produce starting on Wednesday.
The Ministry of Climate Change and Environment on Tuesday (May 29) announced a ban on fresh produce from the Indian state following an outbreak of the Nipah virus there.
The virus has killed at least 14 people and is transmitted to humans through infected fruit bats, pigs or other Nipah-infected people.
“Preliminary information 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,” the ministry said.
“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,” the ministry added.
Mangoes, banana, coconut, jackfruit, ladies finger and yard-long bean are among the 100 tonnes fresh produce that Kerala exports to the UAE.
The ministry said it has issued a circular to 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, India.
Industry experts said the ban would impact the import of fruits and vegetables from neighbouring Indian states of Tamil Nadu and Karnataka. GAD/Expat Media
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