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Rwanda Suspends Flights from Southern Africa Over Omicron COVID Variant

Rwanda bans flights omicron

Rwanda Air. [Courtesy]

All direct flights between Rwanda and southern African countries over Omicron, the new Covid-19 variant, have been suspended temporarily.

The country has also imposed a seven-day quarantine for passengers arriving in Kigali from the affected cointries.

Rwanda joins the European Union, the United States, Israel, United Arab Emirates, the UK, among others, that have suspended flights to southern Africa.

The new variant, B.1.1.529, which is said to spread three times faster than the Delta variant, has already been detected in 13 countries.

Read: Gov’t Says No Plans to Ban Entry Into Kenya Over New COVID Variant As Positivity Rate Drops To 0.5%

Last week, South Africa complained it was being “punished” for detecting the new variant following the flight ban.

The foreign affairs ministry said the ban “is akin to punishing South Africa for its advanced genomic sequencing and the ability to detect new variants quicker.”

“Excellent science should be applauded and not punished,” it said, adding that the variant has been detected in other countries.

The variant was first discovered in South Africa and has since been detected in Belgium, Botswana, Israel and Hong Kong.

Read Also: All Passengers from South Africa Must Possess Negative Covid-19 PCR- Ministry of Health

Meanwhile, Kenya currently has no plans to ban people traveling from the affected countries.

Speaking in Kisii, Health PS Susan Mochache said the government has intensified surveillance at the entry points to the country and all persons will be screened and show proof that they have been vaccinated.

She urged Kenyans to continue observing COVID-19 protocols.

Mochache assured Kenyans that if the cases remain low the country will remain open to allow economic recovery, especially in this festive season when the tourism industry is expected to pick up.

“We cannot continue with an economic depression because of COVID-19. Families must continue to interact and people must continue to move,” stated the PS.

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Written by Eva Nyambura

Content creator at | Passionate about telling the untold story. Lover of life, music and technology. Simplicity is KEY


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