The Department of Immigration and Passports has stopped receiving new applications for passports due to the coronavirus outbreak. The decision was effective from Monday (Mar 23), said the government agency's Director General Maj Gen Shakil Ahmed. The collections of biometric features, including fingerprints, are risky, he said.
The Department of Immigration and Passports (DIP) has suspended the electronic and machine-readable passport (MRP) operations until further notice, as a precautionary measure to contain the spread of coronavirus.
The service has been suspended from Monday (Mar 23), Major General Shakil Ahmed, director general of DIP, told media.
However, MRP renewals will continue, in case there is no change in information, he said.
It will operate in a limited manner for Hajj pilgrims and for people who have emergencies, he added.
Applicants who have already submitted the necessary papers for issuance of passports will receive their passports once they are processed, he added.
"It will resume operations once the situation returns to normalcy." Shakil Ahmed also said.
The novel coronavirus is highly contagious and spreads by droplets of cough or sneezing and touches. Generally, it infects the respiratory system.