Faced with the Omicron variant, border closures are “deeply unfair, punitive and ineffective,” UN Secretary General Antonio Guterres said Wednesday, calling for more testing for travelers.
” With a truly borderless virus, the travel restrictions that isolate a country or region are not only deeply unfair and punitive, they are ineffective. “
Mr. Guterres also denounced the
scandal a condemnation of Africa for not being vaccinated enough.
Referring to South Africa, which reported the Omicron appearance on November 24 and saw borders closed to its nationals, the UN chief said countries should not
be collectively punished for identifying and sharing crucial scientific and health information with the world.
immoral, he repeated.
Present at his side, the president of the Commission of the African Union, Moussa Faki Mahamat, also denounced the
unjustified stigma of the African continent.
For being transparent […], the whole of southern Africa suffered sanctions, he lamented, citing the border closures to its citizens.
% of Africans are vaccinated “,” text “:” Less than 6% of Africans are vaccinated “}}”>Less than 6% of Africans are vaccinated, he said, calling for international solidarity to increase their protection.
” I call on all governments to consider repeated testing for travelers instead, as well as other appropriate and truly effective measures. “
This is the only way to reduce the risk of transmission while allowing travel and economic engagement., he added.
The new strain of COVID-19 has been spotted on all continents, but Europeans seem to be the most affected and have started, like other countries in the world, to tighten their health restrictions again, with border controls, travel bans to southern Africa or the mandatory mask in transport and shops.