UN chief concerned about South Africa’s isolation for Omicron

FILE PHOTO: UN Secretary General Guterres and Colombian President Duque hold a press conference in Bogota
FILE PHOTO: United Nations Secretary-General Antonio Guterres speaks to the media at the conclusion of a visit marking 5 years since the signing of a peace agreement between FARC rebels and the Colombian government in Bogota, Colombia May 24 November 2021. REUTERS / Luisa Gonzalez

November 29, 2021

By Michelle Nichols

CHANNEL PRESIDENT (Reuters) – UN Secretary-General Antonio Guterres said on Monday he was extremely concerned about the isolation of southern African countries after COVID-19 travel restrictions were imposed. by several countries for the new Omicron variant of the coronavirus.

“I urge all governments to consider repeat testing of travelers, along with other appropriate and truly effective measures, with the goal of avoiding the risk of transmission to allow travel and economic participation,” Guterres said in a statement.

Omicron variant of coronavirus has very high risk of global increase, the World Health Organization warned on Monday, as more countries reported cases.

Omicron was first identified in southern Africa and many countries, including the US and UK, have announced travel and other restrictions for the region. Africa has some of the lowest COVID-19 vaccination rates worldwide due to lack of access to dosage.

Guterres has long warned of the dangers of vaccine inequality around the world and that low vaccination rates are “a breeding ground for variations”.

“The people of Africa cannot be blamed for unethically low levels of vaccination in Africa – and they should not be punished for identifying and sharing important health and scientific information with them,” he said. world.

(Reporting by Michelle Nichols; Editing by Dan Grebler) UN chief concerned about South Africa’s isolation for Omicron


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