Southern African Leaders Criticize Travel Bans Over Omicron

- 01 December 2021 17:55 WIB
Southern African leaders disappointed over travel bans
Southern African leaders disappointed over travel bans

JAKARTADAILY.ID - Southern African leaders criticize several countries' decisions to prohibit travel from half a dozen Southern African Development Community member states following the discovery of the new Omicron variant of the COVID-19.

President of Malawi and SADC Chairman Lazarus Chakwera voiced his disappointment on his official Facebook page.

"The unilateral travel bans now imposed on SADC countries by the United Kingdom, European Union, United States and others are uncalled for. COVID-19 measures must be based on science, not Afrophobia."

Meanwhile, South African President Cyril Ramaphosa criticized unfair travel restrictions imposed by some countries during his speech at the Forum on China-Africa Cooperation in Dakar, Senegal.

Ramaphosa urged countries that bar entry to South Africans, including the U.S., to "urgently" reverse policies that are already wreaking havoc on the pandemic-stricken African economies.

"We must resist unjustified and unscientific travel restrictions that only serve to disadvantage developing economies," said Ramaphosa.

He also said that "there is no scientific justification" for these restrictions, noting the World Health Organizations' disapproval of the travel bans.

"If restrictions are implemented, they should not be unnecessarily invasive or intrusive, and should be scientifically based, in accordance with the International Health Regulations," said WHO Regional Director for Africa Matshidiso Moeti.

Previously, South African scientists announced the discovery of a new COVID-19 variant with a high number of mutations compared to previous variants and reported it to the World Health Organization, which they named Omicron.

The countries affected by the bans include South Africa, Namibia, Lesotho, Botswana, Eswatini, Malawi, Zimbabwe and Mozambique.

Citizens from those countries are no longer permitted to travel to the U.S., Saudi Arabia, the UK, Qatar, the United Arab Emirates, Japan, and Australia.

Editor: M. A. Wahad

Source: The Sun Daily, Good Word News


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