Nigeria criticizes UK’s COVID-19 red list as ‘travel apartheid’

Sarafa Tunji Isola, high commissioner of Nigeria at United Kingdom He told the BBC on Monday that “what is expected is a global, non-selective approach.”

He also echoed the comments made by the head of the UN, who described the restrictions imposed on some southern African countries as “travel apartheid.”

The new rules went into effect at 04:00 GMT.

It means that travelers arriving from Nigeria will have to enter the hotel quarantine, at their own expense, and isolate themselves for 10 days.

“The travel ban is apartheid in the sense that we are not dealing with an endemic one,” Isola told the Today program. “We are dealing with a pandemic. Whenever we have a challenge, there must be collaboration.”

The West African country faces increasing cases of the Omicron variant.

The Minister of the Government of the United Kingdom, Kit Malthouse, meanwhile, he said that the expression “travel apartheid” was “very unfortunate language”.

“We understand the difficulties these travel restrictions create, but we are trying to buy a little time so that our scientists can work on the virus and assess how difficult it will be,” he told the BBC.

The UK Department of Health and Welfare said that all countries collect data differently, which means it is difficult to directly compare the information. He said the government would continue to review the data.

Nigeria calls UK red list ‘ill-intentioned and unfair’

Nigeria became on Monday the eleventh country to enter the red list of the United Kingdom for international travel. All the nations currently on that list are African.

The only persons authorized to enter the UK from these countries are UK citizens or Ireland, or UK residents. They will have to pay and isolate themselves at a government approved pre-booked hotel for 10 days.

Nigerians in the UK have expressed shock at the new restrictions.

Olufemi Awokoya He told the BBC that he was trying to raise money for his wife’s quarantine, as she must return from a trip to attend her mother’s memorial service.

“She is being punished and our family is in financial difficulties. She is an NHS worker and has received triple the blows, and we cannot pay the hotel bill of £ 2,280 ($ 3,024),” he said.

“I think the government’s decision … is perverse, unfair and a heavy financial burden.”

Dozens of countries have imposed travel restrictions from southern Africa, and Canada and Hong Kong they have included Nigeria in their lists. South Korea has also detected the Omicron variant in fully vaccinated travelers arriving from Nigeria.

The general secretary of the UN, António Guterres, He first used the term “travel apartheid” on Wednesday and told reporters at New York that the bans “are not only deeply unjust and punitive, but they are ineffective.”

The World Health Organization (WHO) says blanket travel bans won’t stop the spread of variants and may deter countries from reporting and sharing important data.

The president of Ghana, Nana Akufo-Addo, he also condemned the restrictions on African countries, describing them at a press conference last week as “instruments of immigration control.”

A UK government statement on Saturday announcing Nigeria’s addition to the red list said the “vast majority” of Omicron variant cases in the UK “have clear links to travel abroad from South Africa and Nigeria. “In the past week, 21 Omicron infections were reported in England they “originated in Nigeria,” he said.

The Center for Disease Control in the Nigerian capital, Abuja, It says it has only identified three cases of the variant so far, all of them passengers with a travel history to South Africa.

In total, the country has reported 214,622 cases of coronavirus since the pandemic began, according to data from the John Hopkins University.

The new variant was first detected in South Africa in November. Little is known about it yet, but there are concerns that it may be more transmittable, with early data suggesting that it may evade some of our immunity to Covid.

On Friday, the WHO chief scientist, Soumya Swaminathan, He said that Omicron could become the dominant strain worldwide, although he cautioned that this is difficult to predict and urged people not to panic.

The ministers of health of the European Union They will meet Tuesday to determine whether travel restrictions should be changed in response to the Omicron spread, Bloomberg reported.

One option to consider is a PCR test for non-EU citizens traveling from affected countries, which may allow travel bans to be eased or lifted, said an anonymous diplomat quoted by the network.

But Reuters quoted EU officials as saying that a decision to lift the bans was not expected at the meeting.

On AmericanPost.News we will follow the latest news from Nigeria as they reported 29 deaths after an attack on a military post.

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