Tuesday Aug 16, 2022
Tuesday Aug 16, 2022

UN Secretary-General condemns African travel bans

UN Secretary-General Antonio Guterres has shown displeasure due to unfair and ineffective travel bans placed on African Nations.

2021 Dec 02, 12:58,
UN Secretary-General Antonio Guterres

Following South Africa's discovery of a new 'Omicron' variant of the coronavirus, several countries have put South Africa and many other African nations under strict travel restrictions.

While the governments around the world have placed travel bans, worrying for their own safety, South African officials have been calling it a hasty and politically fueled decision, not a scientific one. Word Health Organization and several health experts have shown agreement stating the restrictions and travel bans are unnecessary and have been ineffective in containing the spread, since it may have begun spreading weeks before it was even identified.

Voicing similar opinions to WHO, United Nations' Secretary-General Antonio Guterres too, has shown displeasure on the restrictions placed on African nations. In a Twitter post on Monday, he said, “The people of Africa cannot be blamed for the immorally low level of vaccinations available in Africa — and they should not be penalized for identifying and sharing crucial science and health information with the world.” He started the statement by saying, “I commend the Government and science and health community of South Africa for acting early to identify the emergence of a new COVID‑19 variant.”

"With a virus that is truly borderless, travel restrictions that isolate any one country or region are not only deeply unfair and punitive, they are ineffective", Guterres said. He urged nations to increase testing on travelers instead of placing travel restrictions.

Guterres said in a statement, "I appeal to all governments to consider repeated testing for travelers, together with other appropriate and truly effective measures, with the objective of avoiding the risk of transmission so as to allow for travel and economic engagement,” adding, "This is the only way to reduce the risk of transmission while allowing for travel and economic engagement."

Earlier this week, WHO had stated that travel restrictions do very little to stop the spread of the virus, but massively impact the economy and lifestyle of people, urging nations to reconsider their restricting policies.


covid-19 coronavirus OMICRON variant pandemic infection spread Travel Ban restriction UN United Nations Antonio Guterres South Africa Africa health WHO transmission travel economy Vaccine vaccination
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