Fearing that the Omicron strain will cause a new wave of Covid-19, many Southeast Asian countries have restricted personnel from some African countries.
Thailand It was announced today that people from eight African countries will be banned from entering the country from December 1. These countries are at high risk of infection with Omicron strains, including Botswana, Eswatini, Lesotho, Malawi, Mozambique, Namibia, Zimbabwe and South Africa .
According to Health Officer Opas Karnkawinpong, Thailand will also stop accepting entry applications from these countries from today.
People from other parts of Africa, even if they have been vaccinated against Covid-19, will not be exempt from quarantine under current regulations. “We have notified the airline and the country,” Opas said.
According to the CovidVax.Live program, Thailand has vaccinated more than 57% of the population, and more than 67% of them have received at least one dose of Covid-19 vaccine.
Malaysia Starting today, we will also strengthen travel with some African countries. Seven countries, including South Africa, Botswana, Lesotho, Mozambique, Namibia, and Zimbabwe, have banned people from leaving the country.
Foreigners who have traveled 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 must be quarantined in an isolation facility for 14 days and cannot be at home regardless of the vaccination status. Carey said the government will urgently reassess the immigration regulations of some countries that have recorded new mutation infections.
the Philippines with Singapore On November 26, travel restrictions on the seven African countries mentioned above were also announced. Singapore’s entry and transit ban came into effect at 23:59 on November 27, while the Philippines applies from November 26 to December 15.
presidential palace Rodrigo Duterte This time, the response was more intense than the previous nCoV strain. According to a statement by spokesperson Karrlo Nograles, health authorities will conduct epidemiological follow-up of everyone who has entered the Philippines in the past week and has a disturbing travel history. This person must be quarantined at a designated institution for 14 days and undergo RT-PCR testing.
Singapore allows citizens and permanent residents returning from high-risk countries in Africa to enter, but they must be quarantined for 10 days in government-designated facilities.
The Ministry of Health of Singapore pointed out that this new strain is still a big unknown to scientists, especially in terms of infectivity, toxicity or vaccine resistance compared to Delta. Transport Minister S. Iswaran assured the public that the average number of people from South Africa to Singapore is less than 10 per day.
The World Health Organization (WHO) lists Omicron as a worrying variant because it is more infectious than Delta. Scientists are racing to determine the threat posed by the Omicron strain and whether the current Covid-19 vaccine needs to be adjusted.
Not only in Southeast Asia, but many regions around the world are racing against time to control the spread of the Omicron strain, taking measures to strengthen entry and exit, quarantining and testing people returning from Africa. From November 29, the United States and the European Union (EU) have banned flights from South Africa, Botswana, Zimbabwe, Namibia, Lesotho, Eswatini, Mozambique and Malawi.
The UK also bans entry of people from South Africa and five neighboring countries. Australia, Japan, India, Iran, Brazil and Canada have also taken similar measures.
Nakaren (follow Reuters/Lappler/Bloomberg)