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Rwanda becomes first Sub-Saharan African country to ban flights to southern Africa over Omicron COVID

Rwanda becomes first Sub-Saharan African country to ban flights to southern Africa over Omicron COVID

Rwanda has grow to be the primary nation in Sub-Saharan Africa to impose a ban on inbound and outbound flights to southern African international locations within the wake of the brand new Covid-19 variant, Omicron.


The new variant was first reported in South Africa final week, with circumstances subsequently detected in a number of international locations, and lots of governments have moved swiftly to reimpose flight restrictions. 


In a press assertion, the nation’s prime minister, Dr. Édouard Ngirente, stated that after a rare Cabinet assembly, it was resolved that “direct flights between Rwanda and southern Africa are temporarily suspended”.


The international locations affected by the ban are Botswana, Eswatini, Lesotho, Malawi, Mozambique, Namibia, South Africa, Zambia, and Zimbabwe.


The World Health Organization (WHO) warned Monday that the brand new variant poses a “very high” threat globally.


Even if the brand new pressure proves to be much less lethal than earlier ones, it may put extra stress on hospitals if it spreads extra simply, it stated.


“If another major surge of Covid-19 takes place driven by Omicron, consequences may be severe,” WHO stated in a technical observe, including that “to date, no deaths linked to Omicron variant have been reported.”


South African President Cyril Ramaphosa on Sunday protested the “unjustified” journey bans and referred to as for his or her quick reversal.


“We call upon all those countries that have imposed travel bans on our country and our southern African sister countries to immediately and urgently reverse their decisions,” Ramaphosa stated.


Malawian President Lazarus Chakwera on his half accused Western international locations of “Afrophobia” for shutting their borders.


The head of the WHO in Africa additionally cautioned towards border closures.


“With the Omicron variant now detected in several regions of the world, putting in place travel bans that target Africa attacks global solidarity,” WHO regional director normal Matshidiso Moeti stated in an announcement.


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