Photo Credit: PHILL MAGAKOE
World Health Organization Says South Africa Travel Bans Are Unjustified
Amidst growing concerns of the Omicron variant of the coronavirus, South Africa has been hit with travel bans.
According to ClickOn Detroit, Matshidiso Moeti, the WHO regional director for South Africa, said that countries should follow the science — not the propaganda — when determining if, and when, travel bans should be implemented.
“Travel restrictions may play a role in slightly reducing the spread of COVID-19, but place a heavy burden on lives and livelihoods,” Moeti said in a statement. “If restrictions are implemented, they should not be unnecessarily invasive or intrusive, and should be scientifically based, according to the International Health Regulations, which is a legally binding instrument of international law recognized by over 190 nations.”
South Africa also received praise for its due diligence in sequencing — and reporting — the omicron variant of the coronavirus.
And Moeti’s praise was buttressed by criticism from South African President Cyril Ramaphosa, who called the newly-enacted travel restrictions “completely unjustified.”
“The prohibition of travel is not informed by science, nor will it be effective in preventing the spread of this variant,” Ramaphosa said. “The only thing the prohibition on travel will do is to further damage the economies of the affected countries, and undermine the ability to respond to, and also to recover from, the pandemic.”
Social media has also been ablaze with medical professionals defending and praising South Africa for its due diligence in discovering and making the world aware of the variant.
We all owe South Africa a thank you and an apology. https://t.co/ed0Gq4oIyN— Megan Ranney MD MPH 🗽 (@meganranney) November 30, 2021
Many even saying that the world should be thanking the country for its advanced science practices.
The world owes South Africa’s scientists a debt of gratitude.— Ahmed Ali (@MrAhmednurAli) November 29, 2021