COVID-19 Omicron: Africa fumes as EU, U.S., others impose travel bans

Prominent Africans including the co-chairman of the African Union’s Vaccine Delivery Alliance and the president of the African Development Bank, Ayoade Alakija and Akinwumi Adesina respectively, have condemned what they termed the developed nations’ rush to ban African nations over the discovery of a new coronavirus variant in South Africa- named Omicron.

It is classified as a SARS-CoV-2 Variant of Concern by the World Health Organisation.

While Mrs Alakija spoke to the British Broadcasting Corporation (BBC) in an interview, Mr Adesina took to his verified twitter handle to vent his anger against what he described as the world’s decision to punish Africa for no crime.

New travel bans
On Friday, WHO announced the discovery of the new COVID-19 variant, noting that it has a large number of mutations and that preliminary evidence suggests an increased risk of re infection.

“The number of cases of this variant appears to be increasing in almost all provinces in South Africa,” the global body said.

Apart from South Africa, Omicron has been detected in Israel, Malawi, Botswana, Britain, Germany, Italy, Belgium, Hong Kong, amongst others.

In response to this, the United States of America, the United Kingdom, the European Union and some Asian countries have ‘hurriedly’ imposed travel bans on Southern African countries including Botswana, Eswatini, Lesotho, Malawi, Mozambique, Namibia, South Africa, and Zimbabwe. (Premium Times)

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