By Funmilola Gboteku
The African Public Relations Association (APRA) on Tuesday condemned the travel ban placed on Nigeria and other African countries over the latest variant of COVID-19, Omnicron.
APRA made the condemnation in a statement jointly signed by Yomi Badejo-Okusanya, Robyn D’ Villiers, and Jane Gitau, the association’s President, Vice President and Secretary General, respectively.
APRA said that the current discriminatory travel ban against Africa by Europe and Canada at the outbreak of the Omicron variant of Covid 19 virus was uncalled for because Africa had the lowest infection and mortality rates.
“The current ban, which started with South Africa and now extended to 13 other countries, is completely illogical, considering that China, the United States and Germany are the leading COVID-19 territories.
“APRA aligns itself completely with the position of Dr Akinwumi Adesina, President of the African Development Bank, on the unfair, unjust and ridiculous tarring of Africa.
“What is happening is nothing short of travel apartheid which will hurt African economies, further endanger lives and threaten livelihoods,” the association said.
According to APRA, if the world is looking for a COVID scapegoat, Africa is the least qualified candidate because, as scientific findings show, the continent is still the safest place to be.
“This might not be pleasing to the more developed economies of the world, but it is the truth.
“At a time that Europe and America are entering the winter season with fears that COVID-19 casualties will increase significantly, it is laughable that Africa is being singled out for a ban.
“African Union need to speak up now, African leaders must rise up in defence of their continent.
“We call on the World Health Organisation (WHO) to prevail on those countries which have imposed unjust travel ban on African countries to lift such discriminatory restrictions immediately.
“COVID-19 should not be an excuse for a reintroduction of apartheid in world affairs,” the association said. (NAN)