The World Health Organisation(WHO) declared the COVID-19 outbreak a public health emergency of international concern on January 30, 2020, and a pandemic on March 11, 2020.
Beginning from the time of such declarations, countries started adopting measures like hand hygiene, social distancing, and closure of borders, allowing only certain essentials to be brought in under strict monitoring.
Those were the days the virus that caused COVID-19, SARS-CoV-2,was being studied, travel bans were unquestionably acceptable.
Later, the experts introduced wearing of face masks and subsequently vaccination, which was said to have the efficacy to contain the ancestral virus (Alpha) and its variants of concern which, until late November, comprised Beta, Gamma and Delta.
The introduction of vaccination eased travel restrictions with everyone least expecting travel bans with all the vaccination and testing regimes in place.
Therefore, it came as a brush-off when Western and some other countries imposed travel bans on African countries like South Africa, Botswana, Eswatini, Lesotho, Malawi, Mozambique, Namibia and Zimbabwe following the emergence of the latest variant of COVID-19, Omicron, in South Africa on November 14.
The situation has forced President Nana AddoDankwaAkufo-Addoto join leaders of South Africa and other countries in condemning attempts by the global community to single out African countries for the imposition of travel bans due to the outbreak of the Omicron on the continent, saying the variant had been discovered much earlier in the Netherlands.
The Ghanaian Times joins African leaders in condemning the travel bans and calls them a typical brush-off because the West and their cohorts always go for what favours them and do so against Africa.
Were they not their own medical scientists who said vaccination had the efficacy to contain COVID-19 and all its variants?
Which disease’s variant is Omicron? Did they impose travel bans when the Delta variant was covered in India?
Why do the West and their cohorts make Africa their whipping boy in almost all bad situations that affect the world?
Thank God COVID-19 did not originate in Africa otherwise the West would isolate the whole of the continent but come for its raw materials without which their economies would not run.
The West must stop at shortchanging Africa in all things, including low pricing of its own produce and their missions collecting huge visa fees from Africans but denying them visas, and spare us the misplaced blame.
The WHO has appealed for the travel bans to be lifted; the West and their cohorts must obey the global health expert organisation.
After all, the WHO says it is not yet clear whether infection with Omicron causes more severe disease compared to infections with other variants, including Delta and that studies into Omicron are ongoing.
If that is the case, upon which basis are the travel bans being carried out?
The West and their cohorts should rather check their ineffective handling of the pandemic underpinned by misplaced claims of human rights that has resulted in more cases and deaths than in Africa.
Check the records for COVID-19 cases and deaths — Africa: 8 661 700 cases with 222 776 deaths; Asia: 71 454 808 cases with 1 112 769 deaths; Europe: 84 385 671 cases (including United Kingdom10 146 915; Russia 9 604 233; Turkey 8 724 400; France 7 589 961 and Germany 5 799 244) with 1 519 845 deaths, including Russia 273 964, United Kingdom 144 775, Italy134 212, France122 917 and Germany100 832; and Oceania: 384 726 cases including Australia 207 982, with4 463 deaths, including Australia1, 994.
It is about time African leaders developed the continent, including its human resource, institutions and industries and save it from over-reliance on and avoidable embarrassments from the West and their cohorts.Read Full Story