The South African high commissioner to Australia has criticised Australia’s travel ban on non-citizens from nine nations, calling it “unfair” and “racist.”
On Monday, Marthinus Van Schalkwyk told media that Australia’s move to ban admission from South Africa, Namibia, Zimbabwe, Botswana, Lesotho, Eswatini, Seychelles, Malawi, and Mozambique was a “knee-jerk” reaction.
Mr Van Schalkwyk pointed out that in the last 24 hours, 21 people died in South Africa from 16,000 Covid instances, while 127 people died in the UK from 145,000 cases. United States has a population of 60 million people, whereas the United Kingdom has a population of 67 million.
“We believe (the travel ban) is discriminatory because these countries are all located on the African continent. In terms of death and total numbers, the results are not even comparable”, he said.
When China was accused of not being transparent, Australia was at the forefront of the debate, setting the gold standard for what transparency entails.
South Africa followed the gold standard to the letter, and the immediate response was a travel ban.
“Yes, we are confident that would not have happened if South Africa had been a European country,” says the author.
Mr van Schalkwyk expressed his desire to have the prohibition repealed.
“We’ve long maintained that the ban is unjust; there is no proof that it works, as the World Health Organization acknowledges.” “We feel it should be reversed right away,” he said.
Mr van Schalkwyk believes that instead of focusing on being double-vaccinated, wearing masks, and taking other precautions against Covid, the focus should be on being double-vaccinated, wearing masks, and taking other precautions.
After Omicron was labelled a “variant of concern,” Health Minister Greg Hunt and Chief Medical Officer Paul Kelly imposed the additional travel restriction on November 29.
“The Australian government will take additional precautionary border security measures based on medical advice in order to protect Australians while more is learned about the nature and impact of the Omicron variant of concern,” he added.
Omicron, which originated in South Africa, has a higher number of mutations in its spike protein than other varieties, and preliminary research suggests it is more contagious, although having milder symptoms.
Because Omicron appears to be less serious than first thought, the US is considering suspending its own travel embargo with eight nations in southern Africa.
Anthony Fauci, the White House senior medical adviser, expressed confidence that the US would ease its travel ban on citizens from certain countries in a “reasonable length of time.”