- Qatar Airways has joined other airlines in a ban on passengers from South Africa
- The discovery of the new Covid 19 Omicron variant prompted the World Health Organisation to recommend an aggressive response
- This led to many airlines implementing a travel ban on passengers from Southern Africa
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QATAR - Qatar Airways has joined other airlines in a ban on South African passengers after the discovery of the Omicron variant of Covid 19.
The World Health Organisation (WHO) has decided that the new variant of one of concern after scientists believe that it might be resistant to the current vaccines.
Qatar Airlines implemented the ban with immediate effect on Friday and would not allow passengers from Zimbabwe and South Africa to board flights.
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The blanket ban on South African passengers has caused a great deal of concern among travellers.
The Business Insider reported that the WHO recommended an aggressive reaction to the new mutated variant by banning travel from affected countries.
Scientists believe that the new variant poses a higher risk of infection and reinfection compared to other variants.
Gulf Times reported that the airline will review the situation on a daily basis until the WHO released more information and guidance.
Covid 19: Interprovincial travel ban on the cards ahead of festive season
Earlier, Briefly News Health Minister Dr Joe Phaahla has said that an interprovincial travel ban ahead of the festive season has not been ruled out.
The number of new Covid 19 infections has exploded in South Africa after the identification of the new variant B.1.1.529 now named Omicron.
Over 2 800 new cases were reported on Friday with over 2 000 cases in Gauteng alone.
The new variant is spreading like wildfire across South Africa which has prompted discussion around imposing a travel ban to try and curb the spread of the virus.
Punished for doing the right thing: Health department condemns sudden travel ban
In similar news, the Department of Health has reacted with anger to the sudden decision by a number of governments to ban flights from South Africa.
South Africa has been placed back on the red list after the new Covid 19 variant was detected.
Health Minister Dr Joe Phaahla lamented the fact that South Africa did the right thing by being completely transparent with the discovery of the variant.
He said that the sudden decision had created a great deal of panic and uncertainty according to New24.
Phaahla was asked if South Africa would retaliate to the decision. He replied that the South African government has not used retaliation in the past.
Source: Briefly News