UK decision to place Nigeria on its red list of countries whose travelers are banned from entering its territory to prevent the spread of the Omicron variant is on trial “Discriminatory” and “Unfair” by Abuja. “This decision is unfair, unfair, punitive, indefensible and discriminatory. Neither is it motivated by science or even common sense ”Nigeria’s Information Minister Lai Mohammed told reporters.
The British government has added Africa’s most populous country to the list, which currently counts ten African countries, after last week’s news that the Omicron variant had been found in Nigeria. The United Kingdom has so far detected some 160 cases of the Omicron variant. But authorities say the vast majority of cases have clear links to recent trips to South Africa and Nigeria.
Thus, since Monday, travelers from Nigeria have been banned from entering the United Kingdom, with the exception of nationals and residents who will have to observe a ten-day quarantine at the hotel at their own expense.
“We sincerely hope that the British government will reconsider the decision to put Nigeria on the Red List and immediately cancel it”, also added the Nigerian minister. He also said developed countries would do better to ensure that developing countries like Nigeria have access to vaccines rather than imposing restrictions on travel.
In some forty countries
Canada has also banned travelers from Egypt, Nigeria and Malawi for fear of the spread of the new variant. Omicron’s presence is now confirmed in some forty countries around the world, having first been detected by South Africa.
At the end of November, a team of South African researchers announced that they had detected a new variant of Covid-19, called Omicron. The reaction was immediate: many countries had closed their borders, putting southern Africa out of the world in a matter of hours.
On Monday, South African Presidents Cyril Ramaphosa and Senegalese Macky Sall denounced the attitude of rich countries towards South Africa after the discovery of the Omicron variant. “Isolating a country that has sequenced a new variant and demonstrated transparency is not only discriminatory, but also counterproductive, because it encourages others” not to be transparent, said Macky Sall in his opening speech of the Dakar International Forum on Peace and Security in Africa.
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Omicron variant: Nigeria considers UK travel ban “discriminatory”