Omicron: U.N. Secretary-General Concerned Over Isolation Of Southern Africa

The content originally appeared on: St. Lucia Times News

United Nations Secretary-General General Antonio Guterres has expressed deep concern over the isolation of southern African countries after several nations imposed travel restrictions against them over the new Omicron coronavirus variant.

In a statement on Monday, he commended the Government and science and health community of South Africa for acting early to identify the emergence of a new COVID-19 variant.

But the U.N. Secretary-General recalled that he and others have long warned about low vaccine rates being a breeding ground for variants.

Africa has some of the lowest COVID-19 vaccination rates worldwide due to a lack of access to doses.

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“The people of Africa cannot be blamed for the immorally low level of vaccinations available in Africa – and they should not be penalised for identifying and sharing crucial science and health information with the world,” the United Nations Secretary-General stated.

In this regard, Guterres appealed to all governments to consider repeated testing for travelers, together with other ‘appropriate and truly effective measures.’

He explained that the objective would be to avoid the risk of transmission to allow for travel and economic engagement.

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