Monday, December 6, 2021

LOW-KEY DESCRIMINATION?: South Africa Brands UK’s Decision to Ban Flights from Country ‘Callous’

The UK has suspended flights from six countries over concerns about a new Covid variant - (Photo by Leon Neal/Getty Images)

Source: I News

Published: November 26, 2021

By: Claire Gilbody-Dickerson

Prominent South African voices have reacted in anger to the UK decision to red-list the country amid news of the new coronavirus “super variant” recorded in the country.

South African businesswoman and activist Carol Bouwer branded the move a “new form of discrimination”. Writing in South Africa’s Sunday Times, she called the UK decision to red-list South Africa along with five other countries a “callous party trick” that disadvantages South Africans while Brits can still travel freely.

“I woke up this morning to learn of our return to the red list and I am alarmed at the ease with which our brand, our identity, our security is tinkered,” she wrote.

“Throughout what we were told was the most dangerous period during the beginning of global lockdowns, we watched UK citizens come and go with ease into our country and no South Africans being able to so much as regard travel their way. We were persona non grata.”

She also said the system for vaccine distribution had created an “apartheid-style” queue that saw wealthy countries given priority access to jabs and boosters, while others waited for access to vaccines.

“This stance by the UK might lead to the EU and other countries assuming a similar posture in criminalising poorer, developing countries for the failing Covax programme which was supposed to give people in rich and poor countries equitable access to vaccines.”

International relations and co-operation minister Naledi Pandor said the UK’s decision to put SA on the red list will damage the tourism industry and businesses.

“While SA respects the right of all countries to take the necessary precautionary measures to protect their citizens, the UK’s decision to temporarily ban South Africans from entering the UK seems to have been rushed, as even the World Health Organisation (WHO) is yet to advise on the next steps,” Naledi Pandor said, according to local news outlet TimeLIVE.

South Africa’s health minister Dr Joe Phaahla also called the reaction of the UK and other countries “unjustified”, saying that South Africa acted with “transparency” after discovering the mutation.

The UK decided to put South Africa and five other countries, namely Botswana, Lesotho, Eswatini, Zimbabwe and Namibia, on its red list as it sought to stop a new Covid “super-variant” from entering the country.

From midday Friday all travellers from those countries will have to self-isolate for 10 days upon arrival while from 4am Sunday they will be required to quarantine in a hotel. Flights will be suspended until the quarantine system is in operation.

It comes as the World Health Organisation (WHO) is set to designate the new variant one “of concern” amid fears it could avoid vaccines.

What do we know about the new variant so far?

European Commission chief Ursula von der Leyen said the European Union is also proposing to halt air travel from the region as Europe battles its own Covid wave.

“The last thing we need is to bring in a new variant that will cause even more problems,” said German Health Minister Jens Spahn.

UK experts believe the variant, which is rapidly spreading in South Africa, can reduce the effectiveness of vaccines to as little as 30 per cent.

No cases have yet been identified in the UK but hundreds of people who have recently arrived from South Africa are being contacted by public health teams and asked to take PCR tests.

Read more at:
Discerning the Mystery is a website dedicated to awakening and educating the people to their true potential of mental, spiritual, emotional, and physical growth. It can be difficult work, but if just one person benefits from these efforts, it is entirely worth it. 

If you enjoy what you read here, please give the post a like and share on social media. Also, if you enjoyed this article, please consider leaving a donation.

Feel free to send us an email and tell us what you think. If you have any suggestions or subjects you would like to see discussed, please let us know.

Thank you for your support.

No comments:

Post a Comment