Dr. Akinwumi Adesina, President of the African Development Bank Group, has condemned travel bans imposed on African countries due to the latest COVID-19 variant, Omicron.
Dr Adesina made the call in a statement: “Now that omicron has been found in many non-African and developed countries, why are travels from those countries not banned? Why single out African countries? Singling out African countries is very unfair, non-scientific, and discriminatory. Lift bans on African countries!”
“Global vaccines’ and travel apartheid against Africa are endangering lives, hurting economies, lives, jobs and livelihoods, from a pandemic Africa did not cause. End the apartheid. Respect Africa!”
Nigeria on Monday became the latest African country to be banned by the United Kingdom over the virus’ spread.
The country joins its Southern African counterparts – South Africa, Namibia, Zimbabwe, Botswana, Lesotho, Eswatini, Angola, Namibia, Mozambique, Zambia – on the list of restricted countries.
Announcing the ban of travellers from Nigeria on Saturday, UK Health Secretary Sajid Javid said most “a significant number” of Omicron cases have been linked to travel with Nigeria.
“There are 27 cases already in England and that’s growing and Nigeria now is second only to South Africa in terms of linked cases to Omicron,” he said.