Cyril Ramaphosa, President of the Republic of South Africa, condemns travel bans imposed by many countries against several African countries due to the emergence of a new strain of the Omicron coronavirus.
He declared his “deep disappointment” with the unjustified actions and called for the immediate lifting of all bans.
Omicron has been described by WHO as an “option of concern”. Initial evidence suggests a higher risk of infection. The mutated variant was discovered in November in South Africa and was reported by the World Health Organization last Wednesday. In most cases in the densely populated province of Gauteng, over the past 2 weeks, a new variant is to blame. It has now spread to all other provinces in South Africa.
However, WHO warned from hasty imposition of travel restrictions, calling for a “scientific approach based on risk assessment”. Matshidiso Moeti, WHO head of Africa, said yesterday:
“With the Omicron variant now found in several regions of the world, the introduction of travel bans targeting Africa is damaging global solidarity.”
South African President Ramaphosa noted yesterday that the south of the African continent has become a victim of unfair discrimination, and the prohibitions will not be effective and have no scientific basis. He said:
“The only thing the travel ban will do is further harm the economies of the affected countries and undermine their ability to respond to and recover from the pandemic.”
Ramaphosa also described the emergence of Omicron as a wake-up call to the world over vaccine inequality. And a clear warning that until everyone is vaccinated, the emergence of new options is inevitable, writes Air force…