“Travel Apartheid”: Nigeria Condemns England’s Red List Against Covid

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The inclusion of Nigeria on England’s Red List after cases of the Omicron Covid variant were linked to travel from the country has been condemned as ‘travel apartheid’.

People arriving in the UK from Nigeria are required to spend 10 days in hotel quarantine at a cost of £ 2,285 and have two negative PCR test results, under measures that took effect Monday at 4 a.m. morning.

The Department of Health said 21 cases of Omicron in England were linked to travel from Nigeria. There are 134 reported cases in the UK.

Nigerian High Commissioner to London Sarafa Tunji Isola said he agreed with UN Secretary-General António Guterres who criticized the measures imposed by various countries against African nations as “the travel apartheid ”.

Isola told BBC Radio 4’s Today program: “The reaction in Nigeria is one of travel apartheid. Because Nigeria is in fact aligned with the UN Secretary General’s position that the travel ban is apartheid, in the sense that we are not dealing with an endemic situation, we are dealing with a pandemic situation and what is expected is a comprehensive approach, not a selective one.

He added: ” [Omicron] is classified as a mild variant – no hospitalizations, no death. So the problem is quite different from the Delta variant. I mean, the position has to be taken on the basis of scientific and empirical evidence. It’s not some kind of panic situation. We need to have the facts.

UK Police Secretary Kit Malthouse said the phrase ‘travel apartheid’ was ‘very unfortunate language’.

“We understand the difficulties created by these travel restrictions, but we are trying to buy some time for our scientists at Porton Down to work on the virus and assess how difficult it is going to be for us to cope as a country. He told Today.

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Yvette Cooper, the shadow Home Secretary, said Labor was backing the measures because there was a need to “stop there being a lot of new additional cases” of Omicron to slow its spread. “This is what happened in the first wave, this is also what happened in the Delta wave,” she said.

Dozens of countries have imposed sweeping travel restrictions on African countries, some of which have yet to detect any cases of the variant. This has reignited the debate over the effectiveness of border closures and the measures sparked outrage and demands from the regions scapegoats after South Africa sounded the alarm over the new variant.

Guterres said bans that isolate specific countries or regions are “not only deeply unjust and punitive, they are ineffective.” He added: “We have the instruments to travel safely. Let us use these instruments to avoid this kind of apartheid, let me say, which I think is unacceptable.

His comments echoed those of Tedros Adhanom Ghebreyesus, the director-general of the World Health Organization, who said last week that it was “deeply worrying” that countries in southern Africa were “being penalized by d others for doing the right thing ”, and called on countries to take“ rational and proportionate harm reduction measures in accordance with international health regulations ”.

WHO technical officer on Covid-19, Maria Van Kerkhove, said travel bans had limited the ability of South African researchers to ship virus samples out of the country. “We don’t want countries to be penalized for sharing information, because that’s how WHO and our partners do assessments and provide advice,” she said.

Leaders of African countries have also condemned the bans as unfair. South African President Cyril Ramaphosa said on Sunday the measures were “deeply disappointing,” adding: “The travel ban is not based on science. It will also not be effective in preventing the spread of this variant. The only thing the travel ban will do will be further damage the economies of the affected countries and undermine their ability to respond and recover from the pandemic. “

Malawi President Lazarus Chakwera wrote on Facebook: “Covid measures must be based on science, not afrophobia. “

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