Monday, December 6, 2021

South Africa Requests World to Lift Travel Bans: Calls It Unjustified

Photo by Anna Shvets

News of the Omicron coronavirus outbreak has galvanized many countries around the world to set up travel restrictions and bans to and from South Africa. A move that President Cyril Ramaphosa deems as “scientifically unjustified.”


Penalized for quick reporting


The South African government has requested international governments to reduce or drop travel restrictions to the country. In an interview with the press, the President stated how the discovery of newer variants of the Coronavirus around the world is proof that South Africa is not a novel case.


Addressing global leaders, President Ramaphosa spoke of how blacklisting South Africa and her sister countries would only seek to damage the country’s economy, further debilitating them from responding actively to the virus threat. Calling the move “discriminatory,” the President stated that the decision of global leaders to indefinitely ground all flights to South Africa is “uninformed by science.” Reputed virologists and supporters of South African have backed the President’s concerns, stating that the country is being punished for its quick detection and reporting of Omicron.


“Unnecessarily invasive” laws jeopardize lives


In an interview with the press, WHO’s regional director for Africa, Matshidiso Moeti, also criticized the sudden restrictions. Moeti believes that these travel bans are not in alignment with the globally-binding International Health Regulations because of their “Unnecessarily invasive” nature. He, too, has requested world leaders to reconsider and lower their travel bans to South Africa. 

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