The African Airlines Association (AFRAA) is calling for a European Union travel ban on African countries due to the new strain of COVID-19, while stressing that such a decision will exacerbate the airline industry in 54 countries on the continent.
According to AFRAA Secretary General Abdirahman Berti, imposing strict restrictions as EU member states have done, is a stigmatization directed at African countries, and does not comply with restrictions imposed on various regions in the rest of the world, TheSchengen.com reports.
>> Explanation of the new COVID-19 travel restrictions imposed by EU/Schengen countries throughout the weekend
“Why target Africa when the virus is reported in other regions as well? No attempts to stigmatize Africa through travel bans will succeed. We must not confuse politics with science. The Omicron variant has now been detected in several regions of the world, yet the travel ban appears to be targeting Africa The President of Afra said this was an affront to global efforts to find a lasting solution.
A similar approach was shared earlier this week by the International Air Transport Association (IATA), which states that travel restrictions do not affect COVID-19 infection rates and urges EU member states to work on other alternatives to reduce infection risks. .
According to the Africa Center for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC), the travel ban on travelers with virus variants has not yielded meaningful results. Instead, the CDC suggests that governments prioritize public health and social measures.
Moreover, global health authorities have criticized the travel ban on African countries, with WHO Executive Director Mike Ryan saying it is important to focus on the problem and not punish countries for doing their scientific work and being. transparent.
This travel ban is based on politics, not science. It’s wrong…why are we holding Africa when this virus is already on three continents? Ayoad Alakija, African Union Vaccine Delivery Representative, said.
>> Omicron was in Europe before the travel ban was imposed on South African countries
Moreover, Amesh Adalja, a senior researcher at the Johns Hopkins Center, said travel bans do not work and only end up stigmatizing a country, in this case South Africa. As a result, countries that isolated and reported this virus for their transparency will be penalized. Adalja further noted that the fight against COVID-19 is less predictable now that tests, vaccination and other tools are available, and travel bans should not even be discussed at this point.
The allegations of stigmatizing a country may be valid because Stop AAPI Hate data revealed that 9,081 reports of anti-Asian hate incidents were issued between March 19, 2020 and June of this year. Of those, 4,548 happened last year, and 4,533 this year.