Dr Fauci calls for SA travel ban to be rolled back

This week, the US banned travel from eight countries in southern Africa. South African scientists were the first to identify the new Omicron COVID variant. As a result, the US and other countries were quick to ban all travel from our country. The travel bans have had a devastating impact on SA travel. But now, the top US doctor has admitted that the ban needs to be done away with.

Will the SA travel ban be removed?

On the latest episode of the Science Vs. podcast, Dr Anthony Fauci shared his views on the controversial travel bans. According to Fauci, who is US president Joe Biden’s top medical advisor, the US was taking decisions while being completely blind.

ALSO READ – Trevor Noah demands apology after SA ‘wrongfully’ blamed for Omicron

Early data shows that Omicron is likely to be a lot more transmissible than previous COVID variants. The good news? It also suggests that it only causes mild full symptoms in those that are vaccinated.

As the western countries locked out all SA travel, it soon became clear that the Omicron variant was already in several parts of Europe. Were those countries hit with travel bans? Certainly not. The World Health Organization was quick to condemn the travel bans.

When probed about keeping SA travel under lock and key, Fauci admitted Omicron is already all over the world.

“We did not know it was in other countries at the time of the ban. It looked like it was just in South Africa. But right now, you’re right, it is out there, so it’s going to spread no matter what. So that’s the reason why I would feel that, hopefully, we can pull back on that ban as quickly as possible.”

Dr Anthony Fauci, President Joe Biden’s Medical Advisor

It has now been revealed that cases of Omicron were detected in Europe before South African scientists even identified the variant.

What next for Omicron and global travel?

Despite essentially admitting that the SA travel ban is now pretty unfair, Fauci insisted that the ban was necessary to make sure the Biden administration was not “crucified”

So what is Omicron like on the ground here?

The variant is now the dominant COVID variant in Gauteng. The province is bringing in over 70% of the country’s new daily COVID cases. It also seems to be having a stronger impact on young children.

According to the Gauteng Department of Health, children under the age of 5 is now the second biggest age group of COVID patients in hospital.

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