The Omicron variant is the latest variant of Covid-19 to be causing concern globally. It was discovered on the 26th of November by scientists and researchers in South Africa, however Omicron’s detection quickly resulted in controversial and, as some see it, unnecessary travel bans to and from South Africa and other southern African countries. Now bans are stretching to West Africa, with Nigeria notably landing on the UK’s travel red list.
In the wake of these travel restrictions imposed against Africa, some have questioned whether these bans are rooted in racism and prejudice. I believe European countries have reacted too harshly towards African countries in the wake of the Omicron variant, especially when the South African scientists who ultimately detected the new strain warned the world about it.
I believe the travel bans imposed against Africa can be put down to racism and prejudice due to the fact that there’s not a lot of information about the Omicron variant and most ideas are based on speculation. Although the variant was first detected in South Africa due to their robust surveillance programme, it has not been confirmed by scientists if it originated in South Africa, therefore these travel bans are not scientifically backed up.