A group of ambassadors from 16 African countries are lobbying the US government to “immediately” lift its COVID-19 travel ban against eight African nations.
In a joint statement the ambassadors from the Southern African Development Community (SADC) argue the restrictions are unfair and negatively stigmatize the African continent.
Dozens of countries imposed a travel ban on South Africa and seven other nations after the discovery of the Omicron variant.
Those bans remain in place, despite the new variant now being detected in around 60 countries worldwide.
The countries have written directly to the Biden administration – a letter that they’ve delivered to the US State Department.
In that letter the ambassadors from 16 countries in the Southern Africa Development Community (SADC) say it is regrettable that countries have implemented travel bans – especially as some of those restricted countries have not reported a single case of the new Omicron variant.
The ambassadors point out that the World Health Organisation (WHO) and the Africa Centers for Disease Control both believe bans have counter-productive results – sometimes leading to those banned countries being less transparent in reporting new cases.