Basseterre, St Kitts: Despite the finding of a new variant of the coronavirus (COVID-19) pandemic in South Africa during the past few days, the government of St. Kitts-Nevis has stated that it will not follow other Caribbean Community (CARICOM) governments in imposing a travel ban on numerous African countries.
According to Prime Minister Dr Timothy Harris, his administration will follow the World Health Organization’s (WHO) recommendation not to impose any travel restrictions on South Africa, where the new variant of the COVID-19 virus, now known as Omicron, was first reported. Dr Timothy Harris made the announcement in Parliament on Wednesday.
Prime Minister Harris stated that while some nations have put travel bans on South Africa and other southern African countries in order to keep the Omicron version out, the new strain has already been proven in other countries, according to the Prime Minister of South Africa.
In this particular instance, the World Health Organization (WHO) does not endorse travel bans, and it has stated that the travel limits now in effect are unlikely to prevent the spread of the variation. It’s clear that, despite the fact that it was first detected in South Africa, it has spread throughout the world and has already been recorded in at least 22 nations, including Canada and the United Kingdom.”
As a result of Omicron being recognised as a variation of concern, the World Health Organization (WHO) has given a number of recommendations to the international community, including increasing surveillance.
Many CARICOM countries, including Trinidad and Tobago, Jamaica, and the Bahamas, have joined the United Kingdom, the United States, and other countries to prohibit passengers from several African countries, including South Africa, Mozambique, and Zimbabwe from travelling to or from their respective countries of origin.
Prime Minister Harris, on the other hand, told parliamentarians that “our health staff has indicated that it is not essential at this time to impose a travel ban on South Africa or on the countries bordering South Africa.”
The World Health Organization has recommended that travel prohibitions be replaced with other measures. Using a risk analysis and a science-based approach, the World Health Organization has recommended that countries continue to pursue effective public health interventions to limit COVID-19 circulation in the general population. Furthermore, countries should strengthen their public health and medical capacities in order to deal with an increase in the number of patients,” Harris said in his speech to Parliament.
He stated that local authorities will continue to implement the required public health measures that have kept citizens and residents safe, as well as to promote the country’s immunisation programme, as previously stated.
“We want to encourage everyone who is able to get vaccinated to do so as soon as possible,” says the group. Our nurses, doctors, police officers, members of the Defence Force, in fact, anyone working in the public or private sector who is involved in frontline activity, however defined, is at risk of being in the frontline and should take every precaution to avoid being in the frontline,” Prime Minister Hari said.
Since the first case of COVID-19 was discovered here in March of last year, the island of St. Kitts & Nevis has documented 28 deaths and 2 786 illnesses.