| 28 May 2024, Tuesday |

U.N. chief slams COVID-19 ‘travel apartheid’ as unacceptable

Travel restrictions imposed over COVID-19 that isolate any one nation or area, according to UN Secretary-General Antonio Guterres, are “not just fundamentally unfair and punishing – they are useless.”

Guterres told reporters in New York that the best way to decrease the danger of transmission while allowing for travel and economic activity was to test passengers on a regular basis, “together with other acceptable and genuinely effective measures.”

“We have the tools we need to travel safely. Let us utilize those tools to prevent what I call “travel apartheid,” which I believe is unacceptable “According to Guterres.

Omicron was first identified in southern Africa and many countries, including the United States and Britain, have announced travel curbs and other restrictions on the region. Africa has some of the lowest COVID-19 vaccination rates worldwide due to a lack of access to doses.

Guterres has long warned about the dangers of vaccine inequality around the world and that low immunization rates are “a breeding ground for variants.”

“These travel bans are not justified,” said African Union Commission Chair Moussa Faki Mahamat at the joint news conference with Guterres after the annual meeting between the United Nations and the African Union.

  • Reuters