Are the travel bans on African countries justified?

December 9, 2021 328 views 0 comment 2 minutes reading time
Are the travel bans on African countries justified?

The recent discovery of the new Covid variant Omicron in South Africa on 24th November has resulted in travel restrictions on several African countries in an attempt to contain its spread.  However, many wonder if this reaction was too hasty, claiming that South Africa was penalised for being transparent.

There is also evidence that suggests that Omicron did not come from South Africa and may have been in circulation weeks before it was discovered. New cases are emerging that have no travel links to southern Africa. The Netherlands, for instance, said it had identified the Omicron variant in two test samples before it was first reported by South Africa. In addition, Botswana first detected the variant in four foreign nationals.

Cyril Ramaphosa, the President of South Africa has called for travel restrictions against South Africa to be lifted, saying the nation is a victim of discrimination. The WHO has also condemned the restrictions and highlighted there is a need to use a scientifically-based approach.

Are the travel bans on African countries justified? Is the rest of the world overreacting? Let us know your thoughts and comments below, and we’ll take them to policymakers and experts for their reactions!

Image by Allen Huang via Flickr