South Africa Foreign Ministry notes that the rapid travel ban punishes the country for their excellent scientific work.
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The new Covid-19 variant Omicron has thrown the world back onto full-alert when South African scientists raised the alarm.
The variant was first identified as a separate strain in South Africa, but it has been detected widely in New Zealand, England, Brazil, Hong Kong, UK, Germany, Belgium, and more.
However, Malaysia was extremely quick to impose travel bans to 7 African countries despite the fact that the Omicron virus is found in more countries outside of Africa than in Africa.
Wow this is blowing up my mentions, sorry everyone I can’t respond to all the comments, but here is an updated version: pic.twitter.com/aZ6j6xaPi4— Trevor Branch (@TrevorABranch) November 28, 2021
Even the South Africa Foreign Ministry has noted that while the new variant was also detected in other countries, the global reaction to those countries have been “starkly different” to cases in southern Africa, according to Reuters.
South African Foreign Minister Naledi Pandor also likened the global rush to ban travel to and from Africa as a punishment for the country’s excellent scientific work in identifying the new strain.
This is why travel bans do not work. Just because the new Covid variant is detected in South Africa, it doesn’t mean it originated from there.— Brian (@brianlian) November 28, 2021
It simply means South Africa is highly effective at detecting emerging infectious diseases than the rest of the world. pic.twitter.com/9JYsIRObxE
Globally, response has been similar to Malaysia: travel to and from African countries has been swiftly banned.
Yet as of the moment, other countries with detected Omicron cases still have their borders open.
As of yet, the World Health Organization (WHO) has not suggested countries impose travel bans. Instead, they recommend that enhance surveillence and sequencing of cases, while maintaining effective public health measures.
Regardless, Malaysians are advised to maintain constant vigilance and follow SOPs at all times.
Anne is an advocate of sustainable living and the circular economy, and has managed to mum-nag the team into using reusable containers to tapau food. She is also a proud parent of 4 cats and 1 rabbit.