Fri. Jul 19th, 2024

Southeast Asia tightens travel with Africa because of the Omicron strain

Southeast Asia tightens travel with Africa because of the Omicron strain 4
Southeast Asia tightens travel with Africa because of the Omicron strain 4

Thailand today announced a ban on entry from December 1 for people from 8 African countries at high risk of infection with the Omicron variant, including Botswana, Eswatini, Lesotho, Malawi, Mozambique, Namibia, Zimbabwe and South Africa.

Thailand also stopped accepting entry registrations from these countries from today, according to health official Opas Karnkawinpong.

People coming from other regions in Africa, even if they have been vaccinated against Covid-19, will not be exempt from quarantine as currently prescribed.

Thailand has vaccinated more than 57% of the population, of which more than 67% have received at least one Covid-19 vaccine shot, according to the CovidVax.Live program.

Ground staff of South African Airways (SAA) at Johannesburg airport on September 23.

Malaysia also restricts travel with some African countries from today.

Foreigners with travel history to these countries in the past 14 days are also not allowed to enter Malaysia, according to Health Minister Khairy Jamaluddin.

Malaysian citizens or permanent residents from 7 African countries are allowed to repatriate but are required to quarantine for 14 days at a quarantine facility, not quarantine at home regardless of vaccination status.

On November 26, the Philippines and Singapore also announced travel restrictions with the above 7 African countries.

The government of President Rodrigo Duterte this time responded more drastically than previous variants of nCoV.

Singapore allows entry to citizens and permanent residents returning from high-risk African countries, but they must quarantine for 10 days at a government-designated facility.

Singapore’s Ministry of Health noted that the new strain is still a big unknown to scientists, especially in terms of infectiousness compared to Delta, toxicity or vaccine resistance.

The World Health Organization (WHO) places Omicron on the list of variants of concern due to its higher infectiousness than Delta.

Not only Southeast Asia, many regions around the world are racing against time to control the spread of the Omicron strain by tightening immigration measures and quarantining and testing people returning from Africa.

Britain also banned entry to people from South Africa and five neighboring countries.

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